Want to Give Back? Help RWJBarnabas Health By Donating Blood During The Severe Shortage


This post is sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and if you’re looking for ways to be more charitable this year, donating blood can make a huge impact. RWJBarnabas Health is reminding all New Jersey residents that blood and platelet donations are urgently needed to help combat a severe shortage statewide this winter—cold weather, snow, and illness spikes make it less likely for blood banks to get donors. If you can do it, know that your donation (the blood draw only takes a few minutes) can make a difference. Read on to find out if you qualify for the RWJBarnabas Health drives, where you can easily donate. (featured photo credit: iStock/Svitlana Hulko)

Why it’s so urgent for blood right now

The shortage was initially driven by a surge in COVID cases and is expected to worsen due to an annual decrease in donations during the winter. According to America’s Blood Centers, a blood transfusion occurs every two seconds in the United States. Life-saving blood is needed by patients in a broad range of procedures and situations, including cardiovascular patients during heart transplants, open heart surgery, and other cardiovascular surgeries. Other circumstances include cancer therapies, traumas such as motor vehicle accidents, industrial and home accidents, childbirth, organ transplants, and mass casualty events. Sixty percent of New Jersey residents are eligible to donate blood, yet only 3.6 percent donate routinely.

Here’s how you can help—RWJBarnabas Health is calling on blood donors of all types, especially Type O and platelet donors, to help bolster the blood supply. All blood and platelet donations at RWJBarnabas Health blood drives or donor rooms stay within the system and impact local blood supply availability within a few days of being donated. Donors must be 16 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16 years old), and present photo identification. For more information on the new guidelines and IDA questionnaire, click here.

Where to go right now to donate blood

RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives across the state throughout January, including:

Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus Community Blood Drive Sponsored by Bikur Cholim, The Lakewood Scoop, and RWJBarnabas Health – Conference Center (600 River Avenue, Lakewood)
Wednesday, January 3, 1 PM to 7 PM

Jersey Shore Blue Claws: RWJBarnabas Health Champions Club (2 Stadium Way, Lakewood)
Monday, January 8, 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Saint Peter’s University Hospital: Sister Maria DiPazzi Conference Center (254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick)
Tuesday, January 9, 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Jersey City Medical Center: Conference Room 5, main floor (355 Grand Street, Jersey City)
Thursday, January 11, 11 AM to 5 PM

Community Medical Center: Auditoriums A & B (99 Hwy 37 West, Toms River)
Tuesday, January 16, 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM 

New Brunswick Islamic Center – Gymnasium (1330 Livingston Ave, North Brunswick)
Saturday, January 20, 11 AM to 5 PM

First Baptist Church of Keyport (45 Main Street, Keyport)
Wednesday, January 24, 11 AM-3 PM

Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers Medical School: The Great Hall (675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway)
Tuesday, January 30; 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Can’t make it to a Blood Drive? Here’s how to schedule a donation on your own time

To schedule an appointment at a fixed RWJBarnabas Health Donor Room, call 732-235-8100, ext. 221. Fixed donor locations are located at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick (located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building at 125 Paterson Street in New Brunswick) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset (located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville). Both are open Monday to Friday and select Saturdays. For hours of operation and to schedule an appointment, click here.

Making safety a priority

Rest assured, Donor Centers and all RWJBarnabas Health Blood Drives have safety protocols to protect all donors. These include social distancing requirements in waiting areas and donation spaces, face masks required for all staff, and strict sanitary protocols, including disinfection of donor areas. Donors may be required to wear a mask or face covering at certain donation locations. Donors also receive free parking. Looking to help out locally? To organize a blood drive in your community, please call Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email sally.wells@rwjbh.org.

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