Hospitals in Critical Need of Blood Donations Amid Nationwide Type O Blood and Platelet Shortage

RWJBarnabas Health Makes Urgent Appeal for Life-saving Blood Donations This Holiday Season

West Orange, NJ, December 7, 2022– RWJBarnabas Health is urgently appealing for blood and platelet donations, especially Type O blood, in response to a severe blood and platelet shortage among hospitals throughout the state heading into the winter holidays and season. Due to an acute nationwide shortage and critically low reserve of Type O Blood, the universal blood type, U.S. blood suppliers are unable and meet the demands and provide blood products to local hospitals.

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets every two seconds; approximately 29,000 units of red cells are needed daily. Life-saving blood is given to patients in extensive and varied situations, as in cancer care, traumas such as motor-vehicle, industrial and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events.

“To prevent potential delays in life-saving medical care for patients, we are urging New Jersey residents to give the ‘Gift of Blood’ this holiday season and appealing to all Type O donors to seek out a local blood drive or visit a Donor Center. The nation’s blood supply is still recovering from the pandemic and lockdown, compounded by the expected drop in blood supply during winter months from bad weather, seasonal illness, holiday fatigue and the limited access to blood drives at schools and business establishments. Engaging our local donors is paramount,” stated Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services Business Development Liaison.

RWJBarnabas Health is calling blood donors of all types, especially Type O and platelet donors to help bolster the blood supply. Here’s how to donate:

Schedule an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room:

RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations, at RWJUH in New Brunswick (located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building (CAB) at 125 Paterson Street in New Brunswick) and at RWJUH Somerset (located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville). Both are open Monday-Friday and select Saturdays.

Attend a local blood drive:

RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives across the state this winter that include:

  • Community Medical Center Blood Drive
    Monday, December 19 from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
    Auditorium A & B
    99 Route 37 West, Toms River, NJ 08755
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Blood Drive
    Wednesday, December 21 from 11:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
    Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard
    1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus Blood Drive
    Thursday, January 5 from 1:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
    Schulman Conference Center
    600 River Avenue, Lakewood, NJ, 08701
  • Jersey City Medical Center Blood Drive
    Wednesday, January 11 from 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
    Ambulatory Care Center, 3rd Floor Conference Room
    395 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ, 07302

To schedule an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room or upcoming blood drive, please visit or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221 for RWJUH in New Brunswick or 908-685-2926 for RWJUH Somerset.

Free parking is available for all blood donors. Donors must be at least 16-years old (16 -year-olds require written parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16-years old). Donors must also present photo identification at the time of donation.

Donor Centers and all RWJBarnabas Health Blood Drives have safety protocols in place to protect all donors. These include social distancing requirements in waiting areas and donation spaces, face masks required for all staff, as well as strict sanitary protocols including disinfection of donor areas. Donors may be required to wear a mask or face covering at certain donation locations.

To organize a blood drive in your community, please call Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email

About RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville; Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth; three acute care children's hospitals; Children’s Specialized Hospital, including a network of outpatient centers; a behavioral health center and the state’s largest behavioral health network; two trauma centers; a satellite emergency department; ambulatory care centers; geriatric centers; comprehensive home care and hospice programs; fitness and wellness centers; retail pharmacy services; an affiliated medical group; multi-site imaging centers; and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 38,000 employees and 9,000 physicians – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health, in partnership with Rutgers University, is New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research, and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

Carrie Cristello