By New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd
This summer, New Jersey faces a shortage of blood in our hospitals and emergency rooms. The Department of Health is asking New Jersey workplaces to hold blood drives to alleviate the summer blood shortage. Each summer—while families are vacationing—blood donations drop, but the need remains the same.
Workplace blood drives address the three reasons most people give for not volunteering to donate blood: It is inconvenient, people are unaware of the need and they have never been asked to donate. Workplace blood drives make donating easy—employees can give without leaving the office. By inviting employees to donate, employers can help make a contribution to their community.
Just one pint of blood from one donor can save three lives. And nine out of 10 people will need blood at some time in their lives. Unfortunately, only 3.6 percent of New Jerseyans who are eligible to donate blood do so, far below the national average of 5 percent.
Giving blood is a simple and safe procedure. The entire process takes an hour–from registration through donation. The donation itself takes only 10 minutes. Trained technicians oversee and monitor the blood donation process. Most people who are in good health, are at least 17 years old or older, and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate.
For information, contacts and best practices you can use to promote your summer blood drive, visit the Department’s website at www.njsave3lives.com. Blood drive coordinators, appointed by employers, can establish incentive programs, buddy systems and award ceremonies to thank first-time donors and reward regular donors.
Employers are also urged to conduct blood drives at regular intervals throughout the year. They can encourage their employees to donate on a routine basis. The average donor can give blood up to five times a year.
For residents interested in giving blood, please visit http://www.njblooddrives.com/ to find a blood drive nearby.
By working together we can help to ensure an adequate blood supply for New Jersey during the summer and throughout the year.
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