Make A Donation Before Your Vacation -
Type O Donors Urgently Needed!
With the summer season kicking into full gear, Community Blood Services has issued an urgent appeal to all eligible blood donors to “roll up their sleeves and donate blood”.
The blood center, which supplies blood, platelets and plasma for patients in more than 18 hospitals in New Jersey and New York State, has been experiencing an ongoing shortage of Type O negative and Type O positive blood, as well as platelets, according to Karen Ferriday, director of community affairs.
“The need for blood never takes a vacation. Please make a donation before your vacation,” she said, noting the supply dips to its lowest level during the summer months.
“More than 10 percent of our donations each year come from high schools and colleges and we have to deal with losing those students’ donations during the summer when schools are closed and there are no drives. In addition, donors are away on vacation and there are fewer corporate and community blood drives to build up the supply,” she added.
Ferriday said there has been an ongoing need for Type O negative blood, the universal blood type that can be substituted for all other blood types during emergencies like traffic accidents, Type O negative is also used for premature babies. Only 7 percent of the population has Type O negative blood which means the supply must continuously be replenished.
In addition, Ferriday said platelets, used by cancer patients, and Type O positive blood are also needed. Platelet donations are especially needed on Sundays to meet patient orders throughout the week ahead, she noted.
“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. Every day blood donors make a difference in patients’ lives,” Ferriday said. She said 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.
The blood center, which must collect about 250 donations a day to meet its hospitals’ needs, often must turn to other centers in the country to import blood to meet those needs, Ferriday said. But those centers are facing similar shortages at this time of the year so it is more difficult to find the blood elsewhere, she added.
Ferriday said she hopes all eligible donors will consider donating in the next two weeks to help replenish and maintain the supply. She said Community Blood Services has donor centers in Paramus, Montvale and Lincoln Park in New Jersey and offers other convenient donation sites and mobile blood drives in New Jersey and New York State.
Donors can click here or call 201-251-3703 for locations/hours and call or click here to schedule an appointment to donate. Blood donors are welcome to walk in but appointments are needed to donate platelets. Businesses, organizations or places of worship can also help ease the shortage by calling 201-389-0409 to schedule a summer blood drive. Click here to learn more about organizing a drive.
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.