SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Spotswood VFW Post 4589 will host a blood drive on Monday, July 6 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to help address an urgent call for blood donations.

"Now that things are opening up in our area, delayed surgeries have resumed and the typical activities that result in emergency room visits, like car accidents and other serious injuries and has created an urgent need for blood donations," explained Lynne Ross, Account Manager for NJ Blood Services. "The situation is very serious because the usual spring build-up of the blood supply which is the result of spring high school and college blood drives did not occur."

Donors should be between the ages of 17 and 75 and be in good physical health. A donor can be 16 years of age, but must have a parental consent form. Individuals 76 years of age and older can donate with a doctor's note. All donors should bring identification with a signature or a photo that includes a date of birth. Individuals with a donor card should bring the card. Appointments are strongly recommended for the July 6 blood drive. Walk-ins will only be accommodated if proper social distancing guidelines can be maintained.

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Appointments can be scheduled online or by telephoning 1-800-933-2566. Donors must wear a mask and will have their temperatures taken upon arrival. Any donors previously testing positive for the coronavirus must be symptom free for 14 days prior to donation. Blood donors cannot donate if they have had a positive test result for COVID-19 or have displayed symptoms of the coronavirus during the last 14 days.

The donation process takes about sixty minutes. Donors should hydrate well the day before they are scheduled to give blood. It's helpful to snack on salty snacks the evening before as well as get a good night's sleep prior to donating. Eating a well-balanced breakfast the morning of the donation is recommended. Donors should also bring a bottle of water along and drink right before donating.

For additional information on the blood donation process, visit the New York Blood Center's website.

The Spotswood VFW Post 4589 is located at 33 Daniel Road in Spotswood.