NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing that was required to slow the spread of infections in New Jersey has caused a severe drop in blood donations and critically low blood supplies at the state’s hospitals.
As a result, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services urges everyone to donate blood or other blood products such as platelets and plasma. All blood types are needed, but Type O blood is especially in short supply at the present time.
Typically, RWJUH Blood Services would conduct multiple blood drives in the spring and summer months to combat annual blood shortages that occur during summer months due to vacations and schools and colleges not being in session. The current pandemic has severely limited the number of drives that could be scheduled in the spring and early summer this year in anticipation of annual summer blood shortages.
“People have been doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and socially distancing from other another and they have made a positive impact on flattening the curve of infections,” says Grace Tenorio, MD, Medical Director of the RWJUH Blood Center. “However, throughout the pandemic, RWJUH still needed to perform emergency surgeries and now that elective surgeries have resumed, the need for blood and blood products is greater than ever. We ask everyone that is able to help us by donating blood.”
RWJUH’s Blood Donor Center is located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building at 125 Paterson St. in New Brunswick. The Center can be accessed by the community without entering RWJUH. Blood Services is open Monday through Friday and Saturdays by appointment. Please call 732-235-8100, ext. 221, ext. 222, or ext. 248 or go online to rwjuhdonorclub.org to schedule an appointment to donate. If your organization would like to host a blood drive, please contact Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email@example.com.
RWJUH’s Donor Center has rigorous safety protocols are in place to protect all donors. These include temperature checks of staff and donors, required face coverings, social distancing requirements in waiting areas and donation spaces, as well as strict sanitary protocols including disinfection of donor areas. Donors must also wear masks and face coverings.