Blood Donors Urgently Needed
● By Rebecca K. Abma
Community Blood Services in Paramus has issued an urgent need for volunteer blood donors. All eligible blood donors are asked to call 201-251-3703 now to schedule appointments at one of its New Jersey donor centers to help rebuild the fragile supply.
“We continue to have less than a one-day supply on our shelves because of recent bad weather, and urgently need blood donors to schedule their appointments now so we can continue to meet the needs of patients in our community hospitals," asid Karen Ferriday, director of community affairs at Community Blood Services. "We fell 28% percent short of our total collection goals for January and anticipate the shortage will continue in the immediate future.”
All types are needed but especially Type O negative donors. 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 hospitals because they 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. The shortage is nationwide, she added, noting that the centers Community Blood Services usually imports from to help supplement its supply have been unable to help. The center had to reach out as far as Alaska last week to purchase blood, she said.
Another way community members can help is to schedule a blood drive during February 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 provided blood and blood products to more than 18 hospitals in New Jersey, including Hackensack University Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.