WEST ORANGE, NJ — RWJBarnabas Health continues its urgent appeal for blood and platelet donations, especially Type O blood, this January during National Blood Donor Month in response to a severe blood and platelet shortage among hospitals throughout the state. The surge in respiratory illnesses and recent winter weather has exacerbated the already acute nationwide shortage, and blood suppliers are in critical need of blood products in order to meet the demands throughout this winter.
According to America’s Blood Centers, a blood transfusion occurs every two seconds in the United States. Lifesaving blood is given to patients in extensive and varied situations, as in cancer therapies; traumas such as motor-vehicle, industrial and home accidents; childbirth; open heart surgery; organ transplants; and mass casualty events. Despite this, only 3 percent of Americans donate blood.
Blood drives across the RWJBarnabas Health system in late November and December yielded approximately 500 units of blood and 150 units of platelets. All blood and platelet donations at an RWJBH blood drive or donor room stay within the system and have a direct impact on local blood supply availability within a few days of being donated.
“This National Blood Donor Month, we’d like to thank our donors who have already selflessly rolled up their sleeves in response to the call for donations and our sponsors who make local blood drives possible. Their support has already made a difference in the availability of Type O blood, the universal blood type, and platelets during this difficult time of year,” said Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s blood services business development liaison. “We continue to urge New Jersey residents to donate blood and help us avoid disruptions to routine and emergency medical care.”
RWJBarnabas Health is calling on blood donors of all types, especially Type O and platelet donors, to help bolster the blood supply.
RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed donor locations: one at RWJUH in New Brunswick, located on the fourth floor of the Rutgers RWJ Medical School Clinical Academic Building at 125 Paterson St. in New Brunswick, and the other at RWJUH Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Ave. in Somerville. Both are open Mondays through Fridays and select Saturdays. For hours of operations and to schedule an appointment, visit rwjuhdonorclub.org.