RWJBH: Hospitals have urgent need for blood donation

Looking to make a difference this holiday season — and help in the fight against the pandemic?

RWJBarnabas Health has put out an urgent request for everyone to donate blood and platelets to help overcome a national blood shortage this winter.

How to give

  1. Go to a set location: RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations for blood donations, in New Brunswick and Somerville.
  2. Attend a local blood drive: RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives this holiday season.

Click here for more information or call 732-235-8100, ext. 221.

Please note: Donors must be at least 16 and weigh at least 110 pounds. (If you’re 16, it requires written parental consent and a weight of 120 pounds.)

Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital blood services business development liaison, said blood collection in New Jersey is down more than 25% since late summer, compounding the effect that the COVID-19 lockdowns had on reduced donations in 2020. Life-saving blood donations are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances, including cancer care, trauma events such as car accidents and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events.

“We need New Jersey residents to give the gift of blood this holiday season, as blood supplies have yet to catch up since the height of the pandemic,” she said. “There are less blood drives being organized at workplaces, schools, houses of worship and community organizations. Our hospitals rely on the support of individuals to provide much of the blood we use, and we need your help now to address this blood shortage and prevent potential delays in lifesaving medical care for patients in New Jersey.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s habits and daily lives and, as a result, a profound impact on blood donations and collection nationwide. Prior to the pandemic, high school and college blood drives supplied about 40% of donations across the country. Many drives have not returned to these settings, challenging the industry to keep up with demand, which has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

RWJBarnabas Health is calling for blood donors of all types, especially type O, the universal blood type, and platelet donors.

How to organize a blood drive

Please call Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email if you want to set up a blood drive in your community.