In response to a blood shortage emergency issued by Long Island Blood Services after a blizzard that dropped over two feet of snow throughout much of Long Island – leaving roadways closed for days in many parts of Suffolk County – a Mather Hospital winter blood drive is open to the community on Friday, with no appointment necessary.
The drive will be on Feb. 15 from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m and is open to all community residents. It will take place in conference rooms 3, 4 and 5. Free valet parking is available at the main entrance for community donors, and all donors receive a free movie ticket and other gifts.
"The blizzard forced the cancellation of scheduled blood drives in Suffolk County and elsewhere, and blood was wasted due to the closing of many airports and the interruption in local travel," the hospital said in a statement.
Sue Lingenfelter, business development manager for Long Island Blood Services, said 14 drives were canceled on Long Island between Saturday and Monday and donor centers were closed, which put the organization at a loss of 600 pints of blood. She said the organization needs to collect enough blood throughout the New York City metropolitan area to supply a combined 800 pints of blood per day to area hospitals.
"When these storms happen and blood drives get canceled ... it almost immediately puts us in the negative," she said. Blood drive cancellations after Superstorm Sandy last fall also prompted subsequent blood emergency drives.
"The next challenge is rescheduling the drives that got canceled."
A scheduled blood drive at Stony Brook University held Tuesday was deemed an emergency drive due to the shortage.