In response to an increased need for Rh negative blood, New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) a division of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) is urging local residents to roll up their sleeves, donate blood, and ensure hospital demands continue to be met over the summer.
Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusion of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive. But blood and blood products can’t be manufactured. They can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center.
“Summer is crunch time for us,” said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. “Potential donors go on vacation and the school term ends. We’re asking people to schedule a blood donation along with their other summer plans.”
The following drives are scheduled in the near future:
Aug. 22 Hoboken Public Safety, 106 Hudson Street, Hoboken 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Aug. 22 Newport Tower, 525 Washington Blvd, Jersey City 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Hamilton Park Condominiums, 264 9th St., Jersey City 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Some facts about the summer blood supply:
People with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their blood can be transfused to anyone.
Type O-negative blood is found in just six percent of the population, and is often transfused to patients with other blood types in emergency rooms and trauma situations.
People with Rh negative blood, including A-, B- and O-, comprise just 15 percent of the population.
People of all blood types and ethnicities are encouraged to donate, and are critical to maintaining the diversity of our blood supply.
The months of June, July and August continue to present challenges as schools and colleges close for the summer and employees leave for summer vacations. More than 25 percent of blood donations collected each year come from our high school and college blood drives.
People can donate one pint of whole blood every 56 days and platelets every three days.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. NYBC also offers special community service scholarships for students who organize community blood drives during summer and winter months. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission or consent), 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 over 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call (800)-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org