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Blood supplies falling in New Jersey

Jim Rhodes of Bordentown

Jim Rhodes of Bordentown

Blood supplies in New Jersey are running low.

Kathy McKenna, the vice president of operations at Community Blood Services in Montvale, said shelves are almost empty; the need for platelets and O-negative blood is most pressing.

“Unfortunately, with the holiday season, it’s difficult to get donors to be available to come in,” she said. “And the hospitals still need the same amount of blood that they always do, in fact usually more with traumas etc.”

So far, McKenna said, hospitals have not had to cancel surgeries because of the blood shortage.

“They will put off electives to have it for their inpatients and trauma people if they have to,” she said. “We’re kind of keeping up, but it’s getting to a very dangerous situation where the demand is starting to outweigh the supply.”

McKenna is hoping the holiday spirit causes more people to donate blood, but she is worried the shortage might persist for a while.

“Now we go into January and the weather is bad and snow, ice, whatever impacts donors’ ability to get here,” she said. “We also rely heavily on the high school donors, and they’re not back in school and fully functioning pretty much until the end of January and into February.”

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