Blood donors needed as fall season returns

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:42

    Immediate need for O-negative, A-negative donations New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of the New York Blood Center (NYBC), is calling upon the communities it serves to donate blood. Donations of O-negative and A-negative types are particularly needed immediately. While NJBS calls upon blood donors to help achieve its goal of a five- to seven-day supply of these types, healthy people of all blood types and ethnicities are also encouraged to donate and help save lives. The need for blood is constant. Hospital use of blood products remains high — due to surgeries, emergencies and care of cancer patients. About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood. People with Rh-negative blood, including A-, B- and O-, comprise just 15 percent of the population, yet their blood can be safely transfused to the remaining 85 percent. People with O-negative blood are known as “universal donors” because their blood can be transfused into anyone. Type O-negative blood is found in just 6 percent of the population, but is used more often by patients with other blood types, especially in emergency rooms and trauma situations. Community in mind With the school season underway, NJBS encourages students, teachers and faculty to organize blood drives, a process that teaches community service and leadership skills and engages the surrounding community. To date, about 600 elementary and middle schools have sponsored Little Doctors Program blood drives. NYBC and NJBS also offer scholarships for high school and college students who initiate and coordinate successful community blood drives. Donating blood or organizing a blood drive can be a thoughtful way of honoring or remembering someone special within the community. Over the years, hundreds of blood drives have been dedicated to students, faculty and community members.