STATE – January is National Blood Donor Month, and New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) is urging the communities it serves to donate today and help to replenishment the blood supply, which is critically low after the recent blizzard caused the cancellation of many drives.
“We’re still down about seven percent from what we need in blood donations, and we need everyone’s continued help. We shudder to think what would’ve happened if our communities hadn’t answered our call for help after the blizzard. NYBC, and the hospital patients we serve, thank you,” said Rob Purvis, NYBC Vice President.
The purpose of National Blood Donor Month is to increase awareness of volunteer blood donation. First-time and regular donors are encouraged to make a difference to their communities by scheduling an appointment to give blood every January, and regularly thereafter. Area businesses, local governments and community groups are asked to step up and take the National Blood Donor Month Challenge by holding community blood drives this month, in the spirit of impromptu, unified team responses gaining popularity on YouTube and Facebook.
Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. Approximately 25% of regional blood collection comes from high schools and colleges, many of which have winter recess this month.
Each day in the U.S., more than 40,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims. Approximately five million Americans will receive a blood transfusion this year, and the only place to get this precious resource is from volunteer blood donors.
Fewer than 5 percent of healthy Americans eligible to donate blood actually donate each year. In New Jersey, only 2% actually donate. Dedicated blood donors striving to change those statistics include:
People can donate one pint of whole blood every 56 days. An adult of average weight has about 10 to 12 units of blood, so one pint is easy to spare. If you cannot donate, then please ask someone to donate for you. NYBC is thankful for the individuals, employers, community groups, schools and religious organizations that are steadfast in their commitment to blood drives during the winter season and throughout the year.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
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