RWJBarnabas Health Issues Urgent Plea for Blood Donations Amidst a Severe Winter Blood and Platelet Shortage

RWJBarnabas Health urges all New Jersey residents to donate blood and platelets this winter. With donations plummeting by 25% at RWJBarnabas Health blood drives and conditions deteriorating, the shortage, first triggered by a surge in COVID HV.1 cases, is worsening due to the seasonal decrease in donations.

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.

“After the holiday rush, a critical shortage in the blood supply has emerged in New Jersey, highlighting an ongoing demand for donations throughout the winter months. Each blood donation offers the gift of life to another,” said Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services Business Development Liaison. “Just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. It’s crucial to donate whenever the opportunity arises.”

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 January including:

● 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 Both are open Monday-Friday and select Saturdays. For hours of operation and to schedule an appointment, visit

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

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 732-558-4983 or email [email protected].

[Press Release]

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