July 28, 2014 at 11:06 PM
EAST ORANGE, NJ – The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) headquartered at South Grove Street in East Orange is appealing to all eligible blood donors and the community at large for help with the current blood supply.
Current inventories are at dangerously low levels and less than half a day supply is available for NJ hospitals and patients. Summer collections are usually slower than normal but this year the State Health Department is reporting a 12% reduction in collections from last year state wide. This has created a depletion of readily available blood products for hospitals and trauma centers.
“Our first major objective is to make sure the blood is ready when patients are in need and given our current inventory levels, we are urging the public to respond” stated Tina Ilao, President and CEO for the blood center. Demand continues to outpace collections and BCNJ is asking the public for their help in replenishing the current blood supply. Anyone 17 years or older, in general good health and who has not donated in the past 56 days are asked to consider blood donation at this time. The Blood Center of New Jersey requests that you visit their web site at www.bloodnj.org to find a donation site nearest you. In addition, donation centers are located in Parsippany and West Orange to help with your donation.
Blood center officials note that each unit of blood donated is broken down into several components including platelets, plasma, and red cells, so one donation can save up to three lives.
The donation process is safe and simple. Donors are first asked medical history questions and given a mini-health check, including pulse, blood pressure, and iron level. The actual donation of blood takes just 5 to 7 minutes, and then the donor is given a snack and juice. The entire process generally takes under one hour. Donors will receive a free cholesterol screening. 16 year olds can donate with a consent form signed by accompanying parent/guardian, weight 120 pounds and be in general good health. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements. Donors should bring a signed or picture form of identification and know their S.S. #. Please eat a meal one hour before donating and drink plenty of water.
For those who have recently traveled outside of the United States and for other eligibility questions, please call the blood center at 973-676-4700, ext. 132.
If you require any additional information, please call 1-800-652-5663, during regular business hours.
The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) is an independent, non-profit organization supplying blood and blood components to hospitals in 15 counties in New Jersey for over 60 years.