Local Blood Banks In Need

By Kelly McCarthy

January 2, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Checking in on day two of the New Year's Resolution Blood Drive, we look at what happens to your donation once you've given your pint.

Action News explains how they're used by local hospitals and patients who benefit.

There aren't any full shelves in the blood bank at Lourdes Hospital, A sight that they would like to see.

"I think it's been a tough year, economy, the flood, the flu, we've been hit pretty bad in the last year and the supply has been tough."

"We've been hit pretty bad in the last year and the supply has been tough. It's been tough for us at the hospital to sustain a good inventory," said Melissa Ford, Clinical Manager of the blood bank at Lourdes Hospital.

The only way hospitals can fill their supplies are through the American Red Cross.

It's the sole distributor to local hospitals in the Southern Tier and Northern Pennsylvania.

"We are in constant contact with the hospitals, the hospitals place orders on a daily basis and we fill those orders," said Sheila Sullivan, American Red Cross.

All thanks to volunteers like Tim who choose to give blood.

"I've been doing this for quite a long time now and I'm glad I have helped out quite a few people they say," said Timothy Seidl of Vestal.

"You might hear the phrase that one donation can save three lives, because you can get red cells, you can get platelets, and you can get plasma and each one of those components can go to a separate patient," said Ford.

At Lourdes they use donations to assist in surgeries, emergency needs and for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

It's a considerable demand on a product that's hard to keep.

"When a unit of blood is donated it's only good for 42 days," said Ford.

"Blood is like any other perishable it out dates, so that's why the need is constant because every two seconds someone somewhere needs a blood transfusion," said Sullivan.

Something that could turn into a constant for the much needed volunteer donors.

"New Year's resolution time is to go out and give blood," said Ford.

"It's a good resolution to make, it's a gift you can give someone that means the world to them that doesn't cost a thing," said Sullivan.

A start to the New Year that could save lives.

"In a year here at Lourdes we transfused about 4,000 units of red cells we do about 300 or 400 plasmas and about 200 platelets. So that's a lot for a small hospital in the area," said Ford.

The New Year's Resolution blood drive will continue through Friday.

WBNG and the American Red Cross are sponsoring it.

Stop by the Oakdale Mall anytime from 1:30 pm until 6:30 pm.

If you donate, you get a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin' Donuts coffee.