At a recent blood drive sponsored by the Franklin ShopRite, associate Sean was heard making an announcement over the store’s sound system. “Please donate all blood types today at the blood drive because the life you save may be your own.”
Summertime proves to an extremely difficult time for local and national blood banks. With rising needs of blood products, vacationing donors and remnants of the COVID pandemic, blood banks are currently struggling to meet the demand. Blood products have a short life span, only five to 42 days, and need to be constantly replenished. Blood and blood products can’t be manufactured in a laboratory and can only be harvested from human donors who volunteer their time and precious commodity at a blood drive or donation center.
It is very easy to donate blood; a few simple criteria must be met. Donors must be at least 16 years of age with parental consent, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, be in good health and meet all NY and NJ State Department of Health qualifications. People over 75 may also donate with a note from their physician.
An example of the largest community-based, independent blood center in the world is the New York Blood Center. Along with fellow blood centers in Missouri and Rhode Island, the combined centers collect over 4,000 units of blood products each day and supply and serve over 75 million people in our tri-state area, as well as Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and southern New England states.
According to the New York Blood Center, the blood supply currently stands at a one to two-day level, which is well below the ideal level of five to seven days.
Local businesses and organizations can obtain information on how to organize future blood drives by calling 1-800-933-2566.