STATE — New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of the New York Blood Center (NYBC), is calling upon the communities it serves to donate blood. Recent stormy weather, and the Labor Day holiday weekend, have resulted in fewer donations and a less than two day supply of O-negative and B-negative blood for patients in need.
Donations from O-negative and B-negative types are particularly needed immediately. NJBS calls upon blood donors to help achieve its goal of a 5-7 day supply of these types. Of course, healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are also encouraged to donate and help save lives.
As students return to school and the summer of 2010 comes to a close, we must remember that the need for blood is constant. Hospital use of blood products remains high — due to surgeries, emergencies and care of cancer patients. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.
People with Rh-negative blood, including A-, B- and O-, comprise just 15% of the population, yet their blood can be safely transfused to the remaining 85%. 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.
With the school season underway, NJBS would like to encourage students, teachers and faculty to organize blood drives, a process that teaches community service and leadership skills, and engages the surrounding community. To date, about 600 elementary and middle schools have sponsored Little Doctors Program® blood drives. NYBC and NJBS also offer scholarships for high school and college students who initiate and coordinate successful community blood drives.
September also marks the onset of numerous cancer awareness observances. Specifically, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month. Donating blood or organizing a blood drive can be a thoughtful way of honoring or remembering someone special within the community. Over the years, hundreds of blood drives have been dedicated to students, faculty and community members.
To donate blood, call: 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during the summer. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
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