Donate blood and get free gas: New Jersey hospital, Red Cross appeals for donations

The American Red Cross announced this week that anyone who donates blood in August has a chance to win free gas for a year.

The news comes as some hospitals have had blood shortages in recent months, and several health care centers in New Jersey are offering their own financial incentives to encourage people to donate blood or donate platelets. sometimes brought.

The Red Cross said, “Donors can help boost the blood supply and keep the blood supply from running low. We especially need platelet donors right now.”

According to the announcement, in addition to participating in a national raffle to win free gas for a year, anyone who donates blood or platelets at a Red Cross location will also receive a $10 e-gift card.

The majority of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but only about 3% can, the Red Cross said in a statement.

RWJBarnabas Health made a similar suggestion. Anyone who donates blood by September 15th will receive a $10 gift card. Anyone who donates platelets will receive a $20 gift card, according to Sally Wells of the Blood Donation Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Hospitals are using platelets, which are cell fragments in the blood, for cancer patients, trauma and transplants, said Wells, business development and regional liaison for the center. The process of donating platelets takes her two hours, she added.

“At the moment, platelets are primary,” Wells said. “Single-donor platelet shortages are probably the most acute in the last four years.”

Wells said most people can donate platelets that are used for cancer treatment and trauma. Women who have been pregnant in the past must have certain antibodies in their blood before they can donate platelets, so their blood will be screened before they are allowed to donate, Wells added.

According to RWJBarnabas Health, the summer months are usually Blood donation rates are low as schools are closed and people are on vacation. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases has exacerbated the shortage.

Wells said the blood center at the university hospital was fully booked on Tuesday, but half of those who had reservations either canceled or didn’t show up by 1 p.m.

Many blood donation efforts have also been canceled or postponed since the outbreak of the pandemic, she said.In January, New Jersey faced its worst blood shortage in years.

According to Wells, there will be a $100 raffle for each future Robert Wood Johnson blood donation.

“We are still catching up from the shortage,” she said in a statement. “

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