Every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood. According to the American Red Cross, more than 44,000 blood donations are needed each day. With just one donation of a pint of blood, up to three lives can be saved. Nationally, less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood. In New Jersey, according to the state Department of Health fewer than four percent of eligible residents donate regularly, resulting in the critical need for blood donations.
Donating blood throughout the year is extremely important. But remembering to give really matters during the holiday season when donor turnout usually takes a plunge because of inclement weather, busy shopping schedules, and the arrival of flu season. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is making experts available to comment on the importance and uses of blood donations, especially for children with blood disorders treated at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS).
Blood donations are not only used for emergency surgery, but also for everyday needs such as transfusions and treatments for ill children who suffer from blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. Many children in the New Jersey region affected by this disease are treated at the RWJMS Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, which is a component of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The center operates as a statewide referral program for the diagnosis and management of sickle cell disease and other related blood illnesses.
"Especially in the wake of 'Superstorm' Sandy in New Jersey and the surrounding region, blood donations are needed now more than ever," noted Richard Drachtman, MD, interim division chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. "If every student home from college this holiday season rolled up his or her sleeve, we could quickly replenish our regional supply."
Experts at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey available for comment include:
Richard Drachtman, MD, is the interim division chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and a professor of pediatrics at RWJMS. His expertise/research interests include pediatric oncology, hematology and sickle cell disease.
Beth Savage, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a pediatric nurse practitioner who works with Dr. Drachtman in examining and treating pediatric sickle cell patients and others with varied blood disorders at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey