RWJBarnabas Health is making an urgent appeal for blood and platelet donations as it responds to a serious blood shortage at hospitals throughout the Garden 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.
During the summer months, blood donor participation historically drops while schools and colleges are closed, and people are away on vacation. Additionally, the recent surge of COVID-19 cases has impacted donor participation at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Donor Center 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 RWJUH’s 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.”
RWJBarnabas Health is calling for blood donors of all types, especially type O, the universal blood type, and platelet donors.