CLARK — Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad will sponsor a special blood drive to honor Marine Nilton Cacoilo who served two tours in Iraq, only to return home and be stricken by leukemia. Blood donations will be collected by NJ Blood Services on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the squad at 875 Raritan Road in Clark.
Winter is always a critical time of the year for blood collections. Traditionally donations decline during the holiday season and increased January collections are needed to replenish blood supplies. At the same time, bad winter weather often leads to the cancellation or reduced attendance at many scheduled drives.
All donations that will be made at the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad in honor of Cacoilo, will help patients in need of blood in area hospitals.
Qualified donors should be 16 years of age (with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds, however other height and weight restrictions apply. Blood donors must be in generally good health, present photo or signed ID, and know their Social Security number. Persons over 75 years of age can donate with a note from their physician.
“When you consider that every three seconds, someone in this country, like Marine Nilton Cacoilo needs blood, you can better understand the urgency of our needs,” said Chuck Grossenbacher, Executive Director of NJBS.
“Nationwide, 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet only two percent actually give,” he 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.”
He said that O and B negative blood is particularly needed immediately, but healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate to help make certain that the region is prepared for predictable blood needs and any unexpected contingencies during the winter months.
Most notably, people with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their blood can be transfused into anyone. Type O-negative blood is found in just 6 percent of the population, but is used more often by patients with other blood types, especially in emergency rooms and trauma situations. It is used in exchange transfusions for newborn babies and pregnant women, and for premature babies in intensive care units.
To donate blood, call toll free:1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
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