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Holy Name Medical Center Hosting Blood Drive in Response to Emergency Blood Shortage
Diversity in donors needed due to low supply of universal blood type

In response to New Jersey's emergency blood shortage, Holy Name Medical Center is hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, July 5th from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The New Jersey Blood Services Center recently declared a blood emergency, calling on the public to donate blood after the reserve dipped below a two-day supply.

"One trend we see frequently when this issue arises is a high demand for certain blood types," said Edward Torres, administrative director of pathology and laboratory medicine at Holy Name. "Type O is nearly always in short supply."

O-negative blood donors are considered universal donors and that is where blood banks, hospitals, and healthcare facilities consistently see the greatest need.

According to the American Red Cross, 45-percent of Caucasians in the U.S. have type O blood. The percentage is higher among Hispanics, as nearly 60-percent of the population are considered universal donors.

Torres also oversees Familia Y Salud, Holy Name's Hispanic outreach program. He encourages members of the Hispanic community to consider donating.

"This is an opportunity to make a powerful and meaningful contribution to so many patients in need," explained Torres. "Of course, we encourage people with all blood types to come out for this important event, but we also want to highlight the critical need for diversity in donors."

Type O-negative blood is most typically used for nearly all emergency trauma cases.

"Emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any given moment, said Torres. "We understand that first hand, which is why we decided to get involved – not just for our medical center, but so others will have access to the resources they need to provide life-saving care."

To register for the blood drive, visit holyname.org and click the "Emergency Blood Shortage" icon on the homepage.