STATE—New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center, is issuing a public appeal for blood due to critically low supplies in area hospitals.
New Jersey Blood Services, which supplies blood services and products to 60 hospitals throughout the state, says that the need for blood has increased beyond seasonal expectations.
“Traditionally blood collections drop during the summer, not only in New Jersey but throughout the country, and shortages become acute,” said Executive Director of NJBS, Charles Grossenbacher. “However, due to the recent spring heat wave, many blood drives had to be canceled causing supplies to drop below the five-day safety.”
He said that everyone has an obligation to donate blood, at least once a year, provided they meet the qualifications.
Eligible donors should be 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. Donors must present photo or signed ID and know their Social Security number. Donors over 75 years of age can also keep donating with their physician’s note.
“Nationwide, 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet only 2% actually give, Grossenbacher noted. “Every day in the U.S. approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities to treat patients with cancer and other diseases, to support organ transplant recipients and accident and trauma victims.
“When you consider that every three seconds, someone in this country needs blood, you can better understand the urgency of our need,” Grossenbacher added. “In the state of New Jersey, we import over 70,000 pints of blood each year from other U.S. blood centers just to meet local hospital patients’ needs.”
A blood drive is scheduled for Thursday, July 3, at the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad, 875 Raritan Road in Clark from 2 to 7:30 p.m. To make an appointment to donate blood, or schedule a blood drive in your area, call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or log onto www.nybloodcenter.org
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