Health officials declared an "emergency" across New York State and you can easily help.

The New York Blood Center is urging people to donate blood.

Red Cross: Emergency Blood Shortage, Donors Needed Now

Give blood
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The American Red Cross based in the Hudson Valley reached out to Hudson Valley Post to tell us the Red Cross "is experiencing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years."

Officials say the winter is an important time to donate because it's when more people get sick.

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"More challenges may lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types – especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets – are urged to give now," Executive Physician Director for the Red Cross Dr. Eric Gehrie stated.

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Critically Low Blood Levels

Blood donation hand. Nurse hands
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The blood supply across the nation has fallen to "critically low levels," according to the Red Cross.

Over the past 20 years, the number of people donating blood to the Red Cross has fallen by about 40 percent.

"When fewer people donate blood, even small disruptions to blood donations – such as the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall in blood donations the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone – can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion, the Red Cross stated in a press release.

Red Cross
Red Cross

Donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold. You can make an appointment at or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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