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December 27 to January 10, 2011


Community Blood Services is urging community members to donate blood and help replenish the blood supply after last week’s snowstorm closed the doors of its donor centers and canceled mobile blood drives.

"We’re particularly concerned because there may be more snow later this week that could keep donors inside, further depleting our blood supply," said Patrice Foresman, director of recruitment at Community Blood Services.

"We are asking all eligible donors to please come out during the next few days to donate blood and platelets and give the gift of life to patients in our community hospitals," Foresman said. An increase in donations will ensure the blood is available when needed by patients in our community hospitals, she added.

Every donor will receive a complimentary Shop Rite gift card as a thank you for their lifesaving donations when they donate through Monday, January 10th at various New Jersey and New York donor centers.

Donors can call toll-free 866-228-1500 or click here to find out where and when they can donate or to schedule their appointments, or click here to schedule an appointment online. Walk-ins are also welcome for blood donations but appointments are needed to donate platelets, which are needed to treat cancer and other seriously ill patients.

"This time of year, the blood supply traditionally dips to significantly lower levels because of stormy weather and vacations," Foresman noted. "Blood donors are the heroes who give life to others in need."

All blood types are needed to meet the needs of patients in the more than 30 hospitals we serve in New Jersey and New York, especially Types O negative and O positive. Type O is the universal blood type and can be transfused in the event of an emergency. Platelet donations also are critically needed, especially during the first few days of the week, to meet hospital needs.

"Blood has a limited shelf life, and must constantly be replenished," Foresman explained, noting collections drop off during the winter months, often because people don’t want to come out in cold or snowy weather or are ill . She said about 250 pints of blood must be collected each day to meet the needs of hospital patients.

Whole blood donors must be 17-75 years old (16 with parental permission) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also receive complimentary health screenings, including non-fasting cholesterol and glucose screenings.

"Taking an hour out of your day to give blood means you could help a cancer or pediatric patient, or an accident victim," Foresman said. "Won’t you please come donate and make a difference in someone’s life today?

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