Increased Need for Blood Donations throughout Monmouth County during Nationwide COVID-19 Surge

MONTVALE, NJ — Due to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 infections, along with the usual drop-off in donations at the beginning of the holiday season, there’s now a particularly severe blood shortage.

In response, the nonprofit, blood-collection organization Vitalant is providing a local, open-to-the-public donation event on Saturday, December 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, 70 East Main Street, Freehold.

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Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are urged to donate blood plasma. Known as “convalescent plasma,” this blood component contains antibodies that may provide seriously ill patients an extra boost in fighting the disease. There is also a great need for blood platelets — small cells in the blood that form clots to prevent bleeding, while also helping with anemia and low blood counts — and type O-negative, the universal blood type.

FEMA has specifically identified blood donation as an “essential and integral component of the emergency support function.” Of note, coronavirus cannot be transferred through the blood. And, as always, the blood collection process is safe with no impact on the donor's immune system. Vitalant staff follows rigorous safety and disinfection protocols at its blood drives and donation centers and have always required individuals to be in good health to donate blood. 

 Vitalant also maintains four New Jersey blood centers, with hours and street addresses as follows:

Healthy individuals age 16 or older, who weigh at least 110 pounds, may donate blood; 16- and 17-year-olds must have proof of birth date and signed consent forms, either in English (http://www.communitybloodservices.org/media/Minor_Donor_Permit_ENG.pdf) or Spanish (http://www.communitybloodservices.org/media/Minor_Donor_Permit_Form_SP.pdf). Donors should eat a moderate meal prior to donating, and also bring identification featuring their signature.

On occasion, last-minute changes to scheduling for a donation event will occur. As a result, it is recommended that anyone planning to donate blood at a Vitalant donation event call 201-251-3703, toll free, to confirm timing and location details. Additional information about donating blood is also available by visiting www.vitalant.org.

Vitalant has initiated a multiweek incentive program to attract additional donations at its New Jersey donation centers. Specifics are as follows:

December 23 – January 1 

All donors will receive a Vitalant T-shirt or 200 bonus points toward exclusive rewards through Vitalant’s online store.

 

About Vitalant in New Jersey

A not-for-profit organization that supplies blood and blood products to hospitals in the NJ/NY region, Bergen County-based Vitalant (previously Community Blood Services) has been devoted to serving the community’s transfusion medicine needs since 1953. Donations of blood and blood products, umbilical cord blood, stem cells, and bone marrow help to join individuals, organizations, businesses, and entire communities together in partnership to help save lives.

About Vitalant

Arizona-based Vitalant is among the nation’s oldest and largest transfusion medical organizations in the U.S.  Founded in 1943, its blood centers division serves some 700 hospitals across the United States. A founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), Vitalant also operates biological products distribution services, a quality consulting group, and a world-renowned transfusion medicine research institute. It also is a partner in the operation of high-volume donor testing laboratories.