New Jersey is facing a critical blood shortage; health officials urge people to donate

New Jersey is facing a blood shortage and experts fear that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

News 12 Staff

Jun 23, 2021, 10:21 PM

Updated 1,027 days ago

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New Jersey is facing a blood shortage and experts fear that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
Every appointment at the Red Cross blood driver in Basking Ridge on Wednesday was booked, but officials say that it is still not enough to fill the need.
“We are experiencing a severe blood shortage. Not just here in New Jersey, but nationwide,” says Red Cross Northern New Jersey Chapter executive director Matthew Teter.
Officials blame the shortage on COVID-19-related supply and demand issues. Supply is down because blood drives did not happen as often as they did before.
“Our usual blood supply locations like higher education, corporate headquarters where we have those large-scale blood drives, some of those still aren’t open,” Teter says.
Demand for blood is back up with delayed and elective surgeries back on schedule. Violence and car accidents are also on the rise, creating more need for blood. It has left many New Jersey hospitals and trauma centers in urgent need.
“We are seeing levels that are unprecedented,” says Sally Wells with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health Blood Services.
Wells says that she hasn’t seen the supply this low in over 30 years. Some medical centers are postponing non-emergency procedures to ensure that blood they need is delivered. With the summer months typically slow for donations, healthy New Jersey adults are being encouraged to donate what blood they can.
Officials say that people should not be worried if they have had the COVID-19 vaccine or the virus itself prior to donating.
The blood banks especially need type O blood.
Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the American Red Cross website to find out how.


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