January is National Blood Donor Month

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Since 1970, January has been nationally acknowledged as National Blood Donor Month to promote blood and platelet donations during the winter months. Due to inclement weather and a rise in flu-like illnesses, facilities nationwide do not receive the number of donations necessary to fulfill the demand. To illustrate how in-demand blood donations are in New Jersey, let’s look at some statistics:

The Red Cross indicates that every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health’s 2015 Blood Use Report, “the total blood collected in New Jersey has continually decreased since 2013,” and, “New Jersey has failed to meet the transfusion needs of NJ citizens since 1996, with the exceptions of 2001 and 2008.” It’s time to get involved!

Here’s how your family can get involved and make an impact in New Jersey:

New Jersey requires blood donors to be at least 17-years-old (16 with parental consent). For more information on blood donor eligibility, click here. If you are unable to give blood, there are ways to help the cause in New Jersey through your efforts and awareness.

It’s inspirational to know that in just 30 minutes, I can donate blood to help 3 other people and perhaps save a life. It’s a great way to pay it forward, as we never know when the need might arise for a loved one or ourselves.”
– Margaret Berry, School Nurse, Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center

Blood donation vs. Platelet donation:

Whole Blood is the most common form of blood donations. Approximately a pint of blood is taken for patients in need of a blood transfusion. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims, and bone marrow recipients.
Blood can be donated safely every 56 days. Platelets can be donated safely every 7 days, up to 24 times per year
Shelf life of 42 days Shelf life of 5 days – Short shelf life means a higher demand for donations

Unable to donate blood? Here’s how you can help:

Deferrals can happen for a number of reasons, including flu-like symptoms, recent travel destinations, medications, medical conditions, or low hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen in your red blood cells). Whether you are temporarily deferred, deferred for an extended period of time, or your little ones are looking to get involved, there are still many ways to help out.

SleevesUp Virtual Blood Drives: Create your own online campaign to honor a loved one or a cause that is dear to your heart. Promote your campaign to friends and your community, and watch as individuals pledge to donate on your cause’s behalf.

Send an eCard inviting friends and family to donate: Inspire those closest to you by taking the incentive to reach out directly. Challenge your friends and family to give back this season by pledging to donate blood.

Volunteer at a blood drive: Make an impact while learning new skills, meeting new people in your community, and doing good by helping organizations like the American Red Cross, who run almost entirely on the goodwill of local volunteers.

Organize a blood drive at your local high school: According to Community Blood Services, high school students are responsible for 10% of New Jersey’s blood donations. Hosting a local blood drive is a great way to engage with the community while promoting blood donation education to students and parents. Community Blood Services awards scholarships to students who achieve a high level of donations. You can also request free hosting information from the American Red Cross here.

Make a financial donation: It is easy to make a financial contribution to Disaster Relief, your Local Red Cross, or “Where it is needed most,” with the click of a mouse. Or opt to make a cash donation to Central Jersey Blood Center.

Schedule an appointment to donate:

American Red Cross: Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download.

Central Jersey Blood Center: Call 1-888-71-BLOOD (888-712-5663) or visit cjbcblood.org. Locations throughout New Jersey.

B Positive Plasma: Visit bpositivetoday.com. Locations in Cherry Hill, College Park, and Glassboro.

NJMOM wants to know, how does your family give back during National Blood Donation Month? Tag #NJMOM and @njmom to be featured and inspire others to give back this January. 


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