NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) and its parent company, New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency and is asking the public to please find time to donate blood at a NJBS donor center or convenient blood drive to help replenish the community’s blood supply. Recent national tragedies are reminders that it is imperative to always have an adequately stocked blood supply to respond when communities are faced with patient traumas or other events that require life-saving blood products.
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 July or August to help rebuild the blood supply. Hosting a blood drive is easy and New Jersey Blood Services staff will help you every step of the way.
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 consider stepping forward and 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.
As we head into the summer months, we are reminded of how essential it is that our community maintains steady participation in blood donation. The best preparation for an unpredictable tragedy is having blood on the shelves ready to be transfused. This is key to saving lives.
“Spread the word, host your own blood drive and invite family and friends or find a local blood drive and donate. Your immediate action will save lives!” said Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director of New York Blood Center. Cefarelli adds, “We are in dire need of O negative blood with a reserve that is currently below a two day supply, and that is just too low.”
Summer months are marked by long vacation periods with schools in recess and vacation time but the need for blood never takes a takes a break. NJBS urges individuals to seek out blood donation centers and engage in the selfless act of giving blood.
About Blood Donations
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 ask someone to donate for you, or consider 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.
About New York Blood Center
Now more than 50 years old, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. NYBC’s mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area — and more broadly, our nation and our world — by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life using our medical expertise.
Each year, NYBC provides approximately one million blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in the Northeast. NYBC also provides a wide array of transfusion-related medical services. NYBC is also home to the world’s largest public cord blood bank, which provides stem cells for transplant in many countries, and a renowned research institute, which — among other milestones — developed the hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology.