Blood Shortage Nears Crisis Level – Please Give Now
Most people enjoy many summer activities, but summer is also a time of increased accidents, trauma incidents, and other mishaps that result in a desperate need for blood. Alyssa Drown, the marketing manager of Central Jersey Blood Center (CJBC), said, “Right now we are facing a frightening shortage of something that only people can supply – blood. Our local and national blood supplies are dangerously low. No substitution exists for human blood; it cannot be manufactured!”
CJBC, 494 Sycamore Avenue, Shrewsbury, N.J., a community-based, nonprofit blood collection and distribution organization, strives to save lives every single day by providing safe blood products, such as platelets, red cells, and plasma, that go to local New Jersey hospitals and benefit patients right here in the community.
CEO Pascal George noted, “Our forecast for this summer shows at least an additional 1,000 donations will be required from new donors to meet our hospital needs alone. We are very thankful for all our regular donors who help us maintain an adequate blood supply year round, but we are facing a crisis that needs the public’s immediate help.”
Evelyn Suarez explains how blood donations have helped her. Suarez, age 50, of Tinton Falls, N.J., who was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) this February, said, “My life changed for what I thought would be the worst. I had no idea the battle I was in for; but, what I did know was that I would fight to WIN.
Since my diagnosis, I have had 80+ blood transfusions and 70+ units of platelets. Without the blood donors here in our community I don’t know if I would have survived. I am scheduled for my bone marrow transplant on July 12, 2017. The rest is in God’s hands. I will have a second chance of life because of all of the donors who have brought me this far.”
Suarez and other patients like her are depending on donors every day to provide them with the lifesaving products they need to keep fighting. The summer presents the difficult challenge of supporting local hospitals because of an increased need.
CJBC is urging everyone, 17 years of age and up, to give a donation of blood as soon as possible. Drown said, “We especially need negative-type red cells A-, B-, O-, and all-type platelet donations.”
Director of Donor Relations, Michael Leviton, said, “At this point, the need for blood donations is an absolute emergency. We are appealing to everyone to make donating blood a priority. For those who are already donating blood, thank you. It is appreciated and needed.”
Blood donations can be made at one of three donor centers: Howell, Toms River, and Shrewsbury or at a mobile drive near you. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. Call 1-888-71-BLOOD (25663) to schedule an appointment or for questions. For more information, visit www.cjbcblood.org.
Shrewsbury: (732- 842-5750) Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Howell: 4068 Route 9 South, Howell Plaza Shopping Center (732 901-0720) Monday and Wednesday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and Sundays.
Toms River: 1256 Indian Head Road & Route 9 South, Indian Head Shopping Plaza (732-349-3110), Monday, Noon to 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.