RWJBarnabas Health Urges Blood and Platelet Donations Amid Depleted Supplies

RWJBarnabas Health is making an urgent appeal for blood and platelet donations as it responds to a serious shortage at hospitals throughout the state. Life-saving blood and platelet 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.

Historically, inventories of blood and platelets drop during the summer months when donors are on vacation or busy with family activities. With schools and colleges closed there are less large group opportunities to give blood, depleting the blood supply greatly.

Although the need for blood, especially Type O, is large, the need for single donor platelets is expected to reach critical levels by the end of June and continue throughout the summer. Many cancer patients depend on platelet transfusions to help them regain their strength, fight infections, and recover from cancer treatment as well as to prevent life-threatening hemorrhages if platelet levels drop too low. Some patients, especially those who have had a bone marrow transplant or who are being treated for leukemia, may require daily platelet transfusions for several weeks.

“Donations have slowed down, and hospitals are in dire need of blood and platelets now that school is out and people are heading out on summer vacations,” said Sally Wells, Business Development and Community Liaison for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s (RWJUH) Blood Donor Center. “Last year, cancer patients treated throughout the system required roughly 25,000 units of platelets for necessary transfusions. Blood and platelets can’t be manufactured, they can only come from donations. Every donation is important, and by taking the time to donate blood or platelets you’re able to help those who desperately need it.”

Here’s how you can donate:

Schedule an appointment at one of our fixed site Donor Rooms:

RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations, one 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 one at RWJUH Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville. Both Donor Centers are open Monday – Friday and select Saturdays.

To further encourage donations, there are special summer giveaways being held at the RWJUH Donor Center in New Brunswick such as $10 gift cards for blood donors and $20 gift cards for platelet donors as a thank you gift. Also, t-shirts and entry into bi-weekly raffles to win a family fun package to Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach are available. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset is offering $10 gift cards to all type O blood and platelet donors. Additionally, they are offering raffle drawings monthly for a $25 ShopRite gift card.

To make an appointment at a fixed RWJUH Donor Room or to find a blood drive location near you, please visit: or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.

Attend a local blood drive:

RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives across the state this summer including the following:

Pine Belt Subaru & Community
Tuesday, June 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Show Room
1021 NJ – 88, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Community Medical Center
Thursday, June 29 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Auditorium A & B
99 Highway 37, Toms River, NJ 08755

Lakewood Community @ Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
Wednesday, July 5 from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
600 River Avenue, Lakewood, NJ 08701

RWJUH Campus Employees
Thursday, July 6 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Jersey Shore Blue Claws
Tuesday, July 11 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
RWJBH Champions Club & Blue Claws Executive Conference Center

Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Thursday, August 3 from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Auditorium “A” & Atrium
95 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
Thursday August 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Islami Auditorium Side B
94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston NJ

New Brunswick Islamic Center
Saturday August 19 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1330 Livingston Ave. North Brunswick, NJ 08902

IBEW Local
Thursday August 24 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Training/Meeting Rooms
1295 Livingston Avenue, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Secaucus Police Dept & Comm.
Saturday August 26 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Secaucus Recreation Center
1200 Koelle Blvd, Secaucus NJ

Monmouth Medical Center
Tuesday August 29 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Unterberg Learning Center
300 2nd Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740

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.

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