BERGEN COUNTY, NJ -- Emergencies don’t take a holiday. The American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help ensure patients can get the treatment they need at a moment’s notice.
In November 2016, a 100-foot maple tree fell on Mike McMahon, causing life-threatening injuries. He needed 11 units of blood during emergency surgery and another seven units to treat complications after. Six weeks following the accident, McMahon was released from the hospital – just in time to spend the holidays with his family.
“I’m grateful for the donors who gave me such an amazing gift – the gift of life,” said McMahon. “I was an occasional blood donor before the accident. Today, I donate as often as I can to help ensure others receive blood when they need it most.”
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Now is an important time to give blood and platelets. A seasonal decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply. Patients like McMahon can’t afford for there to be a shortage of blood.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
As a special thank-you for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 20-Jan. 15 in Bergen County:
12/29/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Independent Hose Company, 160 Veteran’s Plaza
1/8/2019: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., Maurice M. Pine Public Library, 10-01 Fair Lawn Ave.
12/29/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Garfield YMCA, 33 Outwater Lane
12/26/2018: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., North Arlington Elks Lodge No. 1992, 129 Ridge Road
12/24/2018: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Rochelle Park American Legion Post No. 170, 33 W. Passaic St.
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