Red Cross: Emergency Need for Blood Donations

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WOODBURY, N.J. -

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors, after seeing a significant shortage in their blood supply.

“Not all superheroes wear a cape, so you can be someone’s hero today,” said Alana Mauger, external communications manager for the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

Being that superhero for your community requires a different superpower or getaway car.

It only takes a few minutes and a pint of donated blood.

“Blood can’t be manufactured,” said Mauger. “We rely on volunteer donors, and so the blood is used to treat cancer patients, trauma patients, organ transplants, burn victims, you name it. The blood is really used to save lives.”

What we’re seeing across the country is that we have 61,000 fewer donations than we need to meet patient and hospital demand.

The American Red Cross usually sees a summertime shortage of blood.

According to Mauger, they are not getting their daily 1,000-pint goal to meet patient demand.

“I like to say even though you may take a vacation, the need for blood doesn’t,” said Mauger.

“So, what we’re seeing across the country is that we have 61,000 fewer donations than we need to meet patient and hospital demand,” she added. “In our region here, that’s around 1,200.”

With summer vacation on many donor minds and school being out of session, the Red Cross is urging more people to get out to a donation center so they can bring more blood in.

“Oh, I donate like six times a year,” said Albert Carr, a volunteer with the American Red Cross. “And I’ve probably given about 20 gallons of blood over time.”

At a donation center, the donor checks in, reads a few materials, and answers a questionnaire before going over a health-history form and physical.

WATCH: SNJ TODAY BLOOD DRIVE FROM 2016

If qualified, the actual donation takes about 10 minutes.

“We encourage people before they come out to give, to eat a good meal, [and] drink lots of water,” said Mauger. “The better you feel before you give, the better you’ll feel after.”

“Come out and volunteer to give blood and you’ll feel a lot better,” said Carr.

The American Red Cross will be providing additional donation centers across South Jersey throughout the summer to make it easier for donors to come and give blood.

For more information or to find a center near you, visit the American Red Cross website.


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