New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC), is urging the public to donate blood as we head into the Labor Day holiday. New Jersey roads are packed with cars heading to the beach and the mountains. With so many people on vacation, blood donations drop significantly the last week of August into the first ten days of September as parents and students prepare for the start of the school year.
The need for blood never takes a holiday. Blood donations are urgently needed this time of year. Not only do we see fewer blood donations, but fewer blood drives are scheduled during this two week period. Patients in local hospitals still need blood for emergencies and regular treatments, however.
NYBC announced a blood emergency in late June which lasted much of the summer. Raising awareness for this critical Labor Day holiday period will help boost blood donations and rebuild the inventory.
O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency departments across the country. Due to its high demand, O negative blood is in short supply and NYBC encourages individuals with this blood type to donate today. Our local blood supply has reached a critically low level, with under a two-day supply of O negative, B negative, and A negative.
In order to maintain a safe blood supply a seven-day inventory of all types must be continually replenished. Companies, organizations, and community groups are also encouraged to step up to host a blood drive in September to help rebuild the blood supply. Hosting a blood drive is easy and NYBC’s staff will help every step of the way.
The entire donation process takes less than an hour and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used in emergencies. Nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished.
If you cannot donate but still wish to participate in bringing crucial blood products to patients in need, please consider hosting a blood drive or volunteering at a local blood drive.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive.
Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (parental consent is required for 16-year-olds), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People age 76 or older may donate if they have a doctor’s note on file with New York Blood Center or if they bring one on the day of the blood drive.