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More Snow Coming -
Urgent Need for Blood Donors Continues!


March 2014

 

With another snowstorm expected to hit the first week in March, volunteer blood donors are being asked to make their next lifesaving donations once they are shoveled out.

The urgent need for blood and platelet donors at Community Blood Services is ongoing and the shortage is just not local but nationwide, said Karen Ferriday, community affairs director at Community Blood Services. She said there continues to be less than a one-day supply of blood on the shelves of such blood types as O negative, O positive, B negative, as well as platelets.

“We are still trying to rebuild the supply for patients in our area hospitals after being hard hit by this winter’s onslaught of snowstorms,” she said. At least 250 units of blood and 30 platelets must be collected daily to meet the needs of the 18 plus hospitals we serve.”

“We urgently need blood donors to schedule their appointments now so we can continue to meet the needs of patients in our community hospitals. For two months in a row we have fallen short of our collection goals and anticipate the shortage will continue in the immediate future,” Ferriday said

All eligible blood donors are asked to call 201-251-3703 or click here now to schedule their appointments at a New Jersey or New York donation site to help rebuild the fragile supply. Click here for locations and hours.

Donors can also donate at a community blood drive in their area. Click here to see a list of upcoming drives.

Donors who donate at the Paramus, Lincoln Park or Montvale donor centers today or tomorrow, Monday or Tuesday, Feb. 10 & 11, will receive a Stop & Shop gift card as a thank you for answering the appeal for help, Ferriday said. Donors who donate in Montvale will also be entered into a raffle for a $25 gift certificate to 15 Grand American Bistro.

All blood types are needed, especially Type O negative. There has been a continuing shortage of O negative blood donors because they represent only 7% of the population and Type O negative blood is in most demand by hospital. That’s because Type O negative donors are "universal donors" whose blood can be transfused into anyone in emergency rooms and trauma situations when there is no time for blood typing, Ferriday said.

Ferriday said there have been fewer blood drives, volunteer donors and imports available in recent weeks as a result of the recent snowstorms nationwide, frigid temperatures and winter illness, all leading to the shortage. Since the shortage is nationwide, the centers Community Blood Services usually imports from to help supplement its supply have been unable to help, she said, noting the center had to reach out as far as Alaska last week to purchase blood.

Another way community members can help is to schedule a blood drive during March with their organization, business, school or place of worship. Call 201-389-0409 for more information or to schedule your drive. Click here to learn more.

Ferriday said platelets, used to treat cancer patients and patients with other blood disorders, are also urgently needed. The center must collect at least 30 platelets each day to meet patients’ needs at local hospitals and has been falling short of that goal.

Community Blood Services provides blood and blood products for patients in the more than 18 hospitals served in New Jersey and New York.


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