St. Kateri's knows how to run a blood drive

| 28 Nov 2017 | 06:16

Sparta — A local event not to be missed is the monthly community blood drive at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church, 427 Stanhope Road. With homemade goodies like pancakes and pies enticing over 50 parishioners and friends to come and donate on the third Saturday of the month, the St. Kateri blood program is among the most successful in New Jersey.
On Saturday, November 18, St. Kateri and their blood drive partner, New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of New York Blood Center (NYBC), celebrated an amazing accomplishment. Nearly 4200 whole blood and platelet donations have been made at the parish in Sparta since their blood program began close to 20 years ago.
“I want to thank St. Kateri for their continued support over the years. In tandem with their monthly blood drives, their automated platelet donation program has been outstanding”, said Marie Forrestal, NJBS Director of Donor Recruitment. “Blood drive coordinators Mary Stanek and Melissa O’Malley are so dedicated to ensuring a strong blood supply for area patients. They pour their heart and soul into every blood drive they host, making each donor feel special”.
While the monthly blood drive will continue at St. Kateri, platelet donations now have to be made at an NJBS blood donor center. Platelets are a component of blood that aid in clotting. Their function is to stop bleeding by clumping together and plugging blood vessel injuries and only last for five days after donation and testing. Platelet donations are done on a special machine. “As technology has changed, platelets can now only be donated at a NJBS donor center. Fortunately the terrific St. Kateri monthly blood drive will continue on the third Saturday of each month,” said Forrestal.
The next St. Kateri blood drive is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 from 7:45 am-1:45 pm. To make an appointment, call 800-933-BLOOD. Walk-ins are also welcome. New Jersey Blood Services is asking for help to maintain an adequate supply of all blood types, but especially O-negative, the “universal” blood type which can be transfused to anyone in an emergency. Current inventory of O negative is running below the desired target level.
Any company, community organization, place of worship, or individual may host a blood drive. Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least aged 16 (with signed parental permission or consent), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY or NJ State Department of Health donor criteria. People over 75 may donate with a doctor's note.
About New York Blood Center
Founded in 1964, the New York Blood Center Network (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. NYBC, along with its partner organizations Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri (CBC), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve local communities of more than 45 million people in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), Mid Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD), the Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBC and its partners also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services, including Comprehensive Cell Solutions, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, the National Cord Blood Program, and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, which—among other milestones—developed the Hepatitis B vaccine and a patented solvent detergent plasma process innovating blood-purification technology worldwide.
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