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 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.

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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 notes that the local blood supply has reached a critically low level, with under a two-day supply of O negative, B negative, and A negative.

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.

To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit nybloodcenter.org/blood.