Due to the recent storms, which caused many blood drives to be canceled, the Blood Center of New Jersey is in a “severe emergency blood shortage situation.”
Livingston residents looking to help remedy this situation can donate blood at the Livingston Public Library on Monday, Jan. 7, from 2-7 p.m.
The standard daily order of blood and blood products to New Jersey hospitals has been reduced to less than one quarter, according to BCNJ. The center predicts the situation will get worse in the coming weeks.
New Jersey is facing continuing shortages of blood donations and must import blood regularly from other states. Donations are needed every day to meet the needs of New Jersey hospitals.
Blood center officials note that each unit of blood donated is broken down into several components including platelets, plasma, and red cells so one donation can save up to three lives.
The donation process is easy. The entire process takes under an hour, while the actual donation process is 5-7 minutes. The donors are usually given a snack and juice afterwards.
Donors are first asked medical history questions and given a mini-health check, including a pulse reading, blood pressure, and iron level. Donors will also receive a free cholesterol screening.
Donors must be 16 years of age, with a consent form signed by parent/guardian if under 18. They must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in general good health. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements.
Donors should bring a signed or picture form of identification and know their Social Security number. Donating residents should eat a meal one hour before donating and drink plenty of water.
People with a fever or sore throat should wait until they are feeling better before donating, and there is a 24-hour deferral for teeth cleanings and fillings.