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June 2012


Community Blood Services urgently needs Type O negative blood donors to roll up their sleeves and come out to donate so it can continue to meet the needs of patients in its community hospitals. With summer just ahead the supply is critically low and must be replenished immediately.

The blood center’s medical director, Dr. Millicent Sutton, made an appeal this week asking Type O negative blood donors to please schedule appointments to help build up the supply to meet summer needs.

Type O negative is the universal blood type, the only blood type that can be transfused to any patient. Only 7% of the population has Type O- blood yet is in most demand by hospitals. Type O- blood is transfused to patients with rare antibodies, trauma victims and is regularly needed for premature babies and infants in the 20 plus community hospitals the blood center serves in New Jersey and New York.

"Imagine you or a loved one having an immediate need for lifesaving blood as the result of a serious accident or critical illness, then imagine that blood not being available," said Karen Ferriday, director of community affairs at Community Blood Services.

“The supply has started dwindling and that’s expected to continue throughout the summer months as donors go away on vacation and there are fewer corporate blood drives and no high school drives,” Ferriday said. She said Type O negative collections currently are about 50% below where they should be at this time, noting the center needs at least 50 donors a week to meet the continuous demand.

Donors can click here or call 866-228-1500 for convenient locations and hours. They can also call that number to schedule their donation or click here to schedule online. Appointments are helpful but walk-ins also welcome. Scheduling a summer blood drive with your business, organization or place of worship to help meet summer needs for all blood types can also help build up the supply.

"Did you know nine out of 10 people in New Jersey will need blood at some time in their lives, yet less than 5% of the population eligible to donate blood does so?" Ferriday asked.

To donate, donors must be healthy, 17-75 years old (16 years old with parental permission) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors will receive complimentary non-fasting cholesterol and glucose screenings at the time of their donations.

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