Frequently Asked Questions
Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Community
blood needed for our service men and women?
military does collect its own blood and relies foremost on that blood for
its troops, but still depends on backup from civilian sources, especially
in times of conflict. On March 28, 2003, the military asked for a limited
amount of red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma. The Blood Center of New
Jersey is part of a national agreement to provide blood if the military
blood needs cannot be met by the military blood supply.
will I know where my blood is going?
a major community blood supplier in New Jersey, it is our responsibility
to collect, monitor and distribute blood and blood products responsibly. We must have blood available for the seriously ill and
injured in our hospitals and must maintain an ongoing inventory for blood
for our service men and women. You
will not know where your donation is going - only that it will be used to
save someone's life.
I wait to donate blood?
not. It takes 24-48 hours to
test and process a donated unit of blood.
If blood is needed in an emergency today, it will be the blood from
donors who donated two or more days ago that will be used.
At this time, our inventory of certain blood types and components
is very low. We need to build up our supplies now.
might you ask me to hold off on donating or make an appointment for a
has a shelf life of 42 days and people can safely donate every 56 days.
We must ensure that there are eligible donors continually available
to balance today's needs with next week's and next month's needs.
We do not know how long the war will go on and we must maintain the
right balance so blood is not wasted, but is in a plentiful enough supply
to be prepared for emergencies. We also ask that you fill out a pledge
form so we may contact you when you are needed.
You can fill one out at any of our fixed sites or on line at
should I do if I want to coordinate a blood drive at my place of
employment, community or faith-based group?
us! We will work with you to
identify a date and help you with promotion, publicity and recruitment. Call Brenda McEntyre at
800-652-5663, ext. 141. Depending
on the current schedule of blood drives, we may ask you to select a date
one or two months down the road, or perhaps just help us promote immediate
drives by directing people to those sites.
We must continually monitor current needs and prepare for future
needs blood right now?
need for blood is great. On
any given day, an average of 34,000 units of red blood cells is needed.
Blood transfusions often are needed for trauma victims - due to
accidents and burns - heart surgery, organ transplants, and patient
receiving treatment of leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle
cell disease and thalassemia. With
an aging population and advances in medical treatments and procedures
requiring blood transfusions, the demand for blood continues to increase.
are the criteria for blood donation?
be eligible to donate blood, a person must be in good health and at least
17 years of age. Donors must
weigh at least 110 pounds. All
donors must pass the physical and health history examinations given prior
to donation. For specific
questions on donor eligibility, call BCNJ's Donor Services department at
973-676-4700, ext. 132.
else can I help?
Fill out a pledge form.
Go online at www.bloodnj.org.
We will call you when we need you to donate.
Consider being an on-call
volunteer. Call Za Za
Chamberlain at 800-256-6365, ext. 151 and she'll contact you if we need
you. We may need help with
the phone lines at our donor centers or headquarters, perhaps with serving
refreshments at blood drives, or helping with donor registration.
Consider becoming an
apheresis donor! Apheresis in
the process of removing a specific component of blood, such as platelets,
and returning the remaining components, such as red blood cells and
plasma, to the donor. This
process allows more of one particular part of the blood to be collected
than could be separated from a unit of whole blood.
Unlike red blood cells, which may be transfused up to 42 days after
donation, platelets must be transfused within five days.
When you give platelets, you know there is a patient with a very
serious health problem waiting to receive your donation.
Apheresis donations are scheduled at BCNJ's sites in West Orange
and Parsippany and at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield.
For more information on the program, contact Linda Christian at
we stand united
The Blood Center of New
45 South Grove Street
East Orange, New Jersey 07018
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