National Volunteer Blood Donor Month

Arrives Amidst Another Shortage

PARAMUS - Since 1970, January has been declared National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. To help ensure an adequate blood supply, Community Blood Services has joined with the American Association of Blood Banks to stress the importance of giving the gift of life through the donation of blood.

Currently, the region is facing yet another blood shortage. According to Susan Mysliwiec, director of donor recruitment, the surge in donations in the aftermath of September 11 has ended.

 

"We are back to where we were in the summer," said Ms. Mysliwiec. "Right now we have about a one-day supply of blood. Ideally, our shelves should be stocked with a seven-day supply."

Ms. Mysliwiec noted that the need for blood is constant, and volunteer blood donors contribute to nearly all the blood used for patient care in the United States.

"This year alone, as many as four million patients will

require blood transfusions," said Ms. Mysliwiec. "If all who are eligible to donate would do so on a regular basis - three to four times per year - blood needs could be met and shortages could become a thing of the past."

Among those who depend on transfusions to stay alive include accident

victims, people undergoing surgery, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Each day, patients across the country receive approximately 34,000 units of blood.

 

Community Blood Services, located at 970 Linwood Avenue West, provides blood and blood products to hospitals in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties in New Jersey, as well as to six hospitals in New York City and Orange and Rockland counties in New York.

The blood center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donors also can donate at other convenient sites in the area. Call 201-251-3703 for an appointment.

Blood donors must be 18-75 years old (17 with parent's permission), and

weigh at least 110 pounds.

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