RNJ News Department

Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donations to address significant shortage

FAIRFIELD, N.J. (Essex County) — The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Beth Toll of the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.

“Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs,” Toll said.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visitredcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

Those unable to give can still help by encouraging others to give through a SleevesUp virtual blood drive at redcrossblood.org/sleevesup, giving of their time through volunteerism or making a financial donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.

Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

At age three, Ben Hopkins was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a bone marrow failure disorder.

“Ben looks like a typical happy, five-year-old boy, but looks can be deceiving,” said Toni Hopkins, Ben’s mother and Tabernacle, N.J. resident. “His bone marrow stopped functioning and could not produce the critical cell lines that make red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, so he was dependent on blood transfusions every two to three days for several months in order to survive.”

Ben underwent treatment and has now been able to function independently without required transfusions for nearly two years.

People can donate at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center located at:

Northern New Jersey Donor Center
209 Fairfield Rd., Fairfield
Tuesdays: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: (1st & 3rd of each month) 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Central New Jersey Donor Center
707 Alexander Rd., Suite 701, Princeton Township
Mondays: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. (platelet pheresis)
Tuesdays: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (whole blood & platelet pheresis)
Fridays: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (whole blood & platelet pheresis)
Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. (whole blood)

Upcoming blood donation opportunities will be held at the following locations:

MORRIS COUNTY:

Denville
7/25/2016: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saint Clare’s Hospital, 25 Pocono Road

Madison
7/19/2016: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Madison Volunteer Ambulance Squad, 29 Prospect Street

Parsippany
7/23/2016: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Embassy Suites, 909 Parsippany Boulevard

Sussex County:

Branchville
7/9/2016: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Culver Lake Clubhouse, 2 Eighth Street

HUNTERDON COUNTY:

Flemington
7/18/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Flemington Jewish Community Center, 5 Sergeantsville Road
Bergen County:

Ridgewood
7/12/2016: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Ridgewood YMCA, 112 Oak Street

SOMERSET COUNTY:

Raritan
7/7/2016: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.-Raritan Campus-Janssen, 1000 Route 202 South, OMP Building
7/14/2016: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.-Raritan Campus-Janssen, 1000 Route 202 South, OMP Building

Skillman
7/7/2016: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Johnson & Johnson North, 199 Grandview Avenue
7/14/2016: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Johnson & Johnson North, 199 Grandview Avenue
7/19/2016: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Johnson & Johnson Orchard, 23 Orchard Road, Town Hall

ESSEX COUNTY:

Millburn
7/9/2016: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Millburn Free Public Library, 200 Glen Avenue

Montclair
7/14/2016: 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., American Red Cross Montclair, 63 Park Street

Newark
7/21/2016: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, 201 Lyons Avenue

Nutley
7/19/2016: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Masonic Lodge, 175 Chestnut Street

Orange
7/12/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church, 229 Wallace Street
7/16/2016: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., RCCG Dominion Cathedral, 180 S. Main Street

Upper Montclair
7/13/2016: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue, Student Center

HUDSON COUNTY:

Jersey City
7/6/2016: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., 101 Hudson, 101 Hudson Street
7/11/2016: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Hyatt Regency Hotel, 2 Exchange Place
7/17/2016: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Our Lady of Mercy Church, 40 Sullivan Drive

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