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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 05:23 PM EDT
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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 05:23 PM EDT
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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine

Intensifying blood shortage highlights disaster risks


Victims of weather emergency, accident, violence would be at greatest risk

MONTVALE, NJ (August 2, 2018) – Disasters wait for no one.

While summer blood shortages are a common development in New Jersey, the problem is particularly acute in 2018. And this raises the question of what medical personnel would do in the event of an unexpected, sizeable, urgent need – the sort of demand typically associated with meteorological crises, industrial accidents, and acts of widespread violence.

“A downturn in the blood supply is never a favorable development, but the worst-case scenario is when there’s some type of completely unanticipated emergency,” explains Robert Kessler, recruitment director for Community Blood Services.  “I’m talking about a case when there is a dozen or more victims – perhaps many more – and the need is immediate. This is the situation that keeps public health officials awake at night, and it’s why we desperately need donations. We can’t afford to just hope for the best.”

Making matters even more dire in New Jersey is that type O negative, the “universal donor,” currently is in extremely short summer supply – a scarcity that’s particularly concerning because of how many individuals can benefit from a type O negative donation.

Summer blood shortages are generally the result of many frequent donors being away on vacation or working out-of-the-ordinary summer hours that restrict them from donating. Regularly scheduled high school and college donation events are on hiatus, because schools are closed.

Given all factors, it’s essential that as many New Jersey residents as possible bolster current supplies by arranging to donate in August at the kinds of open-to-the-public donation events managed by Montvale, NJ-based Community Blood Services. A single donation has the potential to save as many as three lives within a 24-hour period.

A complete list of all August, open-to-the-public donation events being managed by Community Blood Services is available by visiting this link.

Additionally, Community Blood Services maintains four New Jersey blood centers, with hours (and street addresses) as follows:

●       Lincoln Park (63 Beaverbrook Rd., Suite 304) – Tuesday, 1-9 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

●       Montvale (102 Chestnut Ridge Rd.) – Wednesday, noon-8 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

●       Paramus (One West Ridgewood Ave., Suite 208) – Monday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesday/Wednesday, 1-9 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

●       Parsippany (1259 Rt. 46 East, Building #4E, Suite 410) – Thursday, 1-9 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

As an added incentive, all those who donate through Community Blood Services during August will receive a ShopRite gift card.

Healthy individuals age 16 or older, who weigh at least 110 pounds, may donate blood; 16- and 17-year-olds must have proof of birth date and signed consent forms, either in English (http://www.communitybloodservices.org/media/Minor_Donor_Permit_ENG.pdf) or Spanish (http://www.communitybloodservices.org/media/Minor_Donor_Permit_Form_SP.pdf). Donors should eat a moderate meal prior to donating, and also bring identification featuring their signature.

On occasion, last-minute changes to scheduling for a donation event will occur. As a result, it is recommended that anyone planning to donate blood at a Community Blood Services donation event call 201-251-3703, toll free, to confirm timing and location details. Additional, general information about donating blood is also available via the toll-free number, or by visiting www.communitybloodservices.org.

About Community Blood Services

Community Blood Services, a not-for-profit organization that supplies blood and blood products to hospitals in the NJ/NY region, has been devoted to serving the community’s transfusion medicine needs since 1953. Donations of blood and blood products, umbilical cord blood, stem cells, and bone marrow help to join individuals, organizations, businesses, and entire communities together in partnership with us to help save lives.

In 2015, Community Blood Services became part of Blood Systems Inc. (BSI) – one of the nation’s oldest and largest transfusion medical organizations – headquartered in Scottsdale. Founded in 1943, Blood Systems’ blood centers division serves some 700 hospitals across the United States. A founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), Blood Systems also operates biological products distribution services, a quality consulting group, and a world-renowned transfusion medicine research institute. It also is a partner in the operation of high-volume donor testing laboratories.
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