Long Branch – Monmouth Medical Center is holding a community blood drive in advance of the Memorial Day holiday. The inventory of available blood for those in need is critically low, and summer months are a historically challenging time of year for blood collections. On May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and May 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monmouth Medical Center will hold a blood and platelet drive in the hospital’s Unterberg Learning Center.
In an April 16 joint statement, America’s Blood Centers (ABC) and the American Red Cross (ARC) emphasized that blood centers nationwide have reported declines in blood collections in recent weeks, and some have reported their lowest donor turnout in more than a year. These trends are concerning, as both patients and blood centers depend on the altruism of donors to ensure that blood is available for life-saving treatments.
As an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the blood supply has been negatively impacted, and the community’s help is needed to build a safe and robust supply of blood for patients. The Food and Drug Administration blood donation eligibility criteria does not require a deferral for individuals who have received a vaccine authorized in the U.S. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to bring their vaccination card to the blood collection site at the time of donation, as they will be asked which type of vaccine they received. Individuals who do not know which manufacturer produced the vaccine they received, or who received a vaccine outside of the U.S., may be asked to wait two weeks before giving blood.
“Donating blood and platelets helps to ensure a sustained and secure supply for hospital patients in need; it is a simple, selfless act that takes less than an hour and is truly critically needed at this time,” says Eric Carney, President and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. “We also want to stress all of the measures being taken to ensure the safety of all donors, including pre-screening upon entry, mandatory masking and physical distancing of stations, enhanced cleaning protocols, and refreshments given at bedside.”
Appointments can be made by calling 732-235-8100, ext. 221 or 248. Please bring photo identification and be sure to eat and drink prior to donating. Medical eligibility questions should be referred to 732-235-8100, ext. 221 or 248. All donors will receive a T-shirt and be entered into a raffle drawing to win a $50 gift card. Platelet donors will also be given a $10 gift card.