Demand for blood donations prompts action

New Jersey Blood Services is asking for help to maintain an adequate supply of all blood types, but especially O-negative – the “universal” blood which can be transfused into anyone in an emergency.

In addition, hundreds of additional blood drives need to be scheduled to meet projected hospital demand.  Current inventory of several blood types is running below the desired target level.

“It’s simple:  hospital patient demand for blood during the summer often outpaces our best efforts to recruit donors and schedule blood drives,” said Andrea Cefarelli.  “There are always reasons – schools are out, people are on vacation – but we have to overcome that for the sake of hospital patients who need us.”

“This is one of the toughest times of the year,” Cefarelli added.  “We’re asking for our dedicated supporters to roll up their sleeves to make sure we’re able to provide our hospital partners with whatever they need to take care of their patients.”

Blood products have a short shelf life – from five to 42 days, so constant replenishment is necessary.  Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive. But blood and blood products can’t be manufactured. They can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org on the World Wide Web.

If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please ask someone to donate for you, or consider volunteering at a local blood drive.

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 summer months.

Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit 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 state health department donor criteria. People over 75 may donate blood with a doctor’s consent.

New Jersey Blood Services is conducting blood drives open to the public at these locations:

  • 10/23/14 Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad, 875 Raritan Road, Clark 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm
  • 10/24/14 Scotch Plains Donor Center, 2279 South Ave, Scotch Plains 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • 10/25/14 Scotch Plains Donor Center, 2279 South Ave, Scotch Plains 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • 10/25/14 The Outlet Collection|Jersey Gardens, 651 Kapkowski Road, Elizabeth 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm
  • 10/26/14 The Outlet Collection|Jersey Gardens, 651 Kapkowski Road, Elizabeth 11:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • 10/26/14 Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1571 Martine Avenue, Scotch Plains 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
  • 10/27/14 Scotch Plains Donor Center, 2279 South Ave, Scotch Plains 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • 10/27/14 Jonathan Dayton H.S., 139 Mountain Ave, Springfield 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • 10/28/14 McKinley School, 500 First St., Westfield 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • 10/31/14 Scotch Plains Donor Center, 2279 South Ave, Scotch Plains 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

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