Vitalant (formerly Community Blood Services) is offering residents of central New Jersey multiple opportunities to potentially help relatives, friends, and neighbors by donating during May. Specifically, the nonprofit, blood collection organization has scheduled six open-to-the-public donation events throughout the area. The greatest need is 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.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, 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, including the mandatory use of masks for staff and donors, and has always required individuals to be in good health to donate blood.
Vitalant also maintains four New Jersey blood centers (see following list, which includes street addresses and hours). Given the coronavirus outbreak, all donors are asked to make advance appointments.
- Lincoln Park (63 Beaverbrook Rd. | Suite 304) – Click here for hours
- Montvale (102 Chestnut Ridge Rd.) – Click here for hours
- Paramus (One West Ridgewood Ave., Suite 208) – Click here for hours
- Parsippany (1259 Rt. 46 East, Building #4E | Suite 410) – Click here for hours
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.