STATE — New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center, is urging blood donors to donate blood to ensure an adequate summer blood supply.
College and high school donors are now on their summer break and unable to donate at their school drives. Those student donors now make up approximately 25% of the local blood supply. Their vacations along with the typical hustle and bustle of summer fun creates a great stress on the local blood supply. You can help by donating at a locally scheduled blood drive or by hosting a blood drive in your community or workplace. Every blood donation is critically needed by hospital patients who rely on the generosity of anonymous blood donors.
“Traditionally blood collections drop during the summer, not only in New Jersey but throughout the country and shortages become acute. Everyone has an obligation to donate blood at least once a year if they meet qualifications to help us avert a severe shortage,” reports Marie Forrestal, director of donor recruitment for New Jersey Blood Services.
Qualified donors should be 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. Donors must present photo or signed ID. Donors over 75 years of age can also keep donating with their physician’s note. Cancer survivors and those with diabetes may also be eligible to donate.
Nationwide, 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet only 2% actually give. 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,” Forrestal added. She said that it is especially important to encourage all negative blood types to donate as frequently as possible.
To make an appointment to donate blood, or if you have general questions about becoming a blood donor, call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or log onto www.nybloodcenter.org. If you would like to schedule a blood drive contact Marie Forrestal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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