According to officials, RWJBarnabas Health is making an urgent appeal for blood and platelet donations as it responds to a severe blood shortage at hospitals throughout the state.
Life-saving blood donations are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances including cancer care, trauma events such as car accidents and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events.
Officials say, during the summer months blood donor participation historically drops while schools and colleges are closed, and people are away on vacation.
Now that summer is over, centers all over New Jersey are diligently working to replenish the essential blood supply. Additionally, the recent surge of COVID-19 cases has impacted donor participation at blood donation centers and at blood drives.
“The postponement and cancellation of blood drives since the onset of the pandemic has been a constant challenge for us and many blood donor centers in our region,” notes Sally Wells, Business Development and Community Liaison for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s (RWJUH) Blood Donor Center.
“Like most blood collection centers, we are still catching up from shortages resulting from pandemic-related cancellations and postponements of many blood drives during the past two years. Access to blood for transfusion is critical to hospitals’ ability to treat urgent and planned surgical procedures and chronic illnesses.
These factors, combined with schools and universities being out on summer break and many individuals on vacation, have contributed to the significant shortages we are experiencing. Our upcoming fall blood drives are vital as we work to get back to the necessary blood volume New Jersey hospitals need.”
RWJBarnabas Health is calling for blood donors of all types, especially type O, the universal blood type, and platelet donors.
Here’s how you can donate:
Schedule an appointment at one of our fixed site Donor Rooms.
RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations, one at RWJUH in New Brunswick, located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building (CAB) at 125 Paterson Street in New Brunswick, and one at RWJUH Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville.
Both Donor Centers are open Monday -Friday and select Saturdays.
To make an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room or to find a blood drive location near you, please visit: https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.