Dec 4, 2023 RWJBarnabas Health Issues Urgent Plea for Blood Donations Amidst a Severe Shortage, Expected to Worsen this Winter

West Orange, N.J. (December 4, 2023) – RWJBarnabas Health is issuing a reminder to all New Jersey residents that blood and platelet donations are urgently needed to help combat a severe shortage statewide this winter. The shortage was initially driven by a surge in COVID HV. 1 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 to 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 on a routine basis.

“Throughout the winter months, as people are busy holiday shopping, prepping and seeing family, donating blood often falls off of people’s “to-do” lists,” said Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services Business Development Liaison. “Although blood donation drops in winter months, the need for blood does not stop. One pint of blood can help save up to three lives. Donating blood this holiday season can be the gift of life for those in need.”

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. Here’s how to donate:

Attend a local blood drive:

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

  • Somerset County Law Enforcement Blood Drive - Sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset and Somerset County Sheriff’s Office
    Tuesday, December 12 at 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Steeplechase Cancer Center - Floor 1
    30 Rehill Ave, Somerville, NJ
     
  • Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center - Employee and Community Blood Drive
    Tuesday, December 12 at 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Islami Conference Center
    94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, NJ
     
  • Monmouth Medical Center
    Friday, December 15 at 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Unterberg Learning Center
    300 2nd Avenue, Long Branch, NJ
     
  • South Plainfield Community
    Saturday, December 16 at 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    JFK Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room
    2900 Norwood Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ
     
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Annual Gift of Life Blood Drive
    Monday, December 18 at 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard
    1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ
     
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Community Blood Drive
    Thursday, December 28 at 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard
    1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
     
  • Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus Community Blood Drive Sponsored by Bikur Cholim, The Lakewood Scoop & RWJBH
    Wednesday, January 3 at 1:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Conference Center
    600 River Avenue, Lakewood, NJ
     
  • Jersey Shore Blue Claws
    Monday, January 8 at 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    RWJBarnabas Health Champions Club
    2 Stadium Way, Lakewood, NJ
     
  • Saint Peter's University Hospital
    Tuesday, January 9 at 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Sister Maria DiPazzi Conference Center
    254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
     
  • Jersey City Medical Center
    Thursday, January 11 at 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Conference Room 5, main floor
    355 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ
     
  • Community Medical Center
    Tuesday, January 16 at 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Auditoriums A & B
    99 Hwy, 37 West, Toms River, NJ
     
  • New Brunswick Islamic Center - Gymnasium
    Saturday, January 20 at 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    1330 Livingston Ave, North Brunswick Township, NJ
     
  • First Baptist Church of Keyport
    Wednesday January 24 at 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    45 Main St, Keyport, NJ 07735
     
  • Robert Wood Johnson Rutgers Medical School
    Tuesday, January 30 at 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    The Great Hall
    675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ

To schedule an appointment at a fixed RWJBarnabas Health Donor Room,call 732-235-8100 ext. 221. Fixed donor locations are located 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. For hours of operation and to schedule an appointment, visit https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. Both are open Monday-Friday and select Saturdays. For hours of operation and to schedule an appointment, visit https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org.

Free parking is available for all blood donors. Donors must be 16 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16 years old), and present photo identification. If the donor has a history of viral hepatitis at age 11 or older or is recovering from an infectious illness, they are ineligible to donate. Under the FDA guidelines, all potential donors, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender, or sex, will undergo screening using a modified questionnaire that assesses the risk of HIV based on individual sexual behavior, recent partners, and other relevant factors. For more information on the new guidelines and IDA questionnaire, visit https://www.rwjbh.org/treatment-care/blood-donation.

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.

To organize a blood drive in your community, please call Sally Wells at 732-235-8100 ext. 221 or email sally.wells@rwjbh.org.

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.

Media Contact: Carrie Cristello
908-347-3157
carrie.cristello@rwjbh.org