New Jersey Blood Services has announced a blood emergency, with a 3-day blood supply. The long term impact of the pandemic has resulted in a year of virtually no youth first-time donors, 3000 fewer blood drives and 100,000 donors that have yet to return to donate since before the pandemic. Complicating matters, recently there has been a surge in blood usage as hospitals perform surgeries and patients seek medical care that was postponed during the pandemic. The increased need and lag in donors has created a chronic gap in blood donations. 

“As the region reopens, hospitalizations are going up and far outpacing the number of donations we are receiving,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director Recruitment and Marketing. “Through our new media campaign, we must raise awareness and encourage lapsed donors who have not donated since before COVID-19 to return and to attract the next generation of blood donors to help us build a healthy blood supply.”

In partnership with advertising agency Markham Yard, NJBS’s new campaign spans radio, cable, social media and more. Through humor and compelling narrative, the campaign is being launched to show a new generation of potential donors not only how important it is to regularly donate blood, but also how easy it can be.

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With this campaign, NJBS is hoping a bit of humor will help tackle preconceived notions around donating blood and send the message that donating blood is easy.  With funny and relatable advertisements that list “things that hurt more than giving blood”, NJBS is using the campaign to demonstrate to the public that giving blood is simpler and less painful than life’s awkward moments.

Donating blood is safe and it only takes one hour. We are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. NJBS staff are also practicing health self-assessments prior to presenting at work. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting www. nybc.org .