Blood emergency announced

New Jersey Blood Services announced today that the state is experiencing a blood emergency due to an alarming drop in blood donations over the past six weeks.

Contributing factors include recent school spring breaks and holiday travel, coupled with a two-year period of almost no youth donations during the pandemic.

All blood types are low and type O is at just a 1-to-2-day level, so potential donors can visit the New Jersey Blood Services website to look up blood drive locations that are convenient.

This shortage occurs amid increasing COVID rates, which can be attributed to the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 that has been spreading rapidly throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Jersey’s counties currently have “medium” transmission rates. Today, the state’s seven-day average for confirmed cases of COVID increased up to 27% from a week ago.

Hospitals and patients rely upon a steady flow of volunteer donors to receive life-saving blood donations, but the recent spike in cases and spring break travel has caused uncertainty. Donor participation has reached record lows at blood drives and donor centers.

“Memorial Day marks the start of summer, when it becomes even more difficult to get donors in. We need more donations to prepare for this period but our supply is currently very low,” said Andrea Cefarelli, senior executive director at New Jersey Blood Services. “One blood donation has the ability to save up to three lives. We highly encourage all who are able to donate today to help their neighbors who need it the most.”

It only takes one hour to donate, and a single donation can save multiple lives.

Roughly one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion.

Those in need include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.

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