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Give the Gift of Life This Holiday Season!
Automated Donations Can Help Boost the Low Supply

December 21, 22 & 23, 2015


Community Blood Services invites its volunteer blood, platelet and plasma donors to give the gift of life this holiday season to ensure there is enough blood on the shelves for local patients who might need it.

Donors who donate at the Parsippany Donor Center on Monday, December 21, or at the Paramus, Montvale or Lincoln Park donor centers on Tuesday, Dec. 22 or Wednesday, Dec. 23, will get Snowball the Holiday Bear as a thank you for their life-giving donations.

Donors are asked to call 201-251-3703 for locations/hours and to make an appointment to donate. Or they can click here for locations/hours or click here to schedule an appointment online.

The donor centers will be closing early on Christmas Eve. The last platelet appointment on Christmas Eve will be at 1 p.m., while the last whole blood appointment will be at 2 p.m. The centers will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Traditionally, there is an urgent need for more donations at this time of the year because there are fewer blood drives and donors are away on vacation. At the same time there is an increase in demand because it is a heavy travel time that can leads to more accidents, said Karen Ferriday, community affairs director at Community Blood Services.

Platelets, which only have a shelf life of five days, are especially needed right before and after Christmas and New Year’s, as is Type O negative blood, the universal blood type that can be transfused to any patient during an emergency regardless of the patient’s blood type. AB male plasma is also needed to treat trauma patients and patients with blood disorders.

“One way we are trying to address the holiday shortfall is by increasing the number of donations made using our automated technology. By asking our donors to make automated donations we are able to collect more life-giving products during one donation and better target our hospitals’ needs,” Ferriday said.

Automated donations allow multiple products to be collected during one donation (double red cells, platelets and/or plasma), therefore helping even more patients who need transfusions, she explained.

There has been an ongoing shortage of Type O negative blood, the universal blood type that can be used for all other blood types during emergencies like car accidents and for premature babies which is the reason it is in most demand by hospitals. Only 7 percent of the population has Type O negative blood which means the supply must continuously be replenished. In addition platelet donors are urgently needed to treat cancer patients, as well as male plasma donors for trauma and burn patients.

To donate, donors must be healthy, 17-75 years old (16 and 17 year olds need parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Community Blood Services is a not-for-profit organization that provides blood and blood products for patients in 20-plus hospitals in New Jersey and New York, including Atlantic Health System, HackensackUMC, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson/Wayne and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

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