In the midst of what they're calling a "blood shortage near crisis levels", The Central Jersey Blood Center is asking all shore residents and visitors this summer to consider donating and help save a life.

A laboratory technician checks human blood samples. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Marketing manager Alyssa Drown says it's near crisis levels because they're not getting enough donors during the summer months.

"A lot of people are at the beach and on vacation and those type of things so they aren't able to make into the donor centers or any of our mobile drive's to be able to donate," said Drown.

She says it's more than just a Jersey issue, it's a national one.

"Not only are we under-collecting here, but it makes it much harder to even import those units to be able to support our local hospitals," said Drown.

Based on their distribution to hospitals this summer, Drown forecasts a major shortage the rest of the way.

"We're looking at about 1,000 units under-collected at this point for the next month or two," said Drown.

They currently only have a day's worth of A-Negative.

"If our average distribution to the local hospitals is let's say, 15-units a day...if we only have 15-units ready to go in inventory, that would give us about a day's supply," said Drown.

She says they're currently in need of a lot of negative-type red cells.

"The R.H. negative blood types are really what is the most critical need," said Drown. "That would be O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative."

She says O-Negative is needed most during trauma incidents.

"It's really the first thing that's the go-to so it can go really quickly if there's an event like that," said Drown.

She says they're now trying to offer additional incentives for people to want to donate but they hope many will come in regardless.

"Blood is something that's always in need, it can't be manufactured," said Drown.

If you're interested in donating blood, you can call them at 1-888-71-BLOOD (2 5663) to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions.

You can visit them at the locations listed below or at a mobile drive near you:

Shrewsbury: (732-842-5750) Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, Noon to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Howell: 4068 Route 9 South, Howell Plaza Shopping Center (732-901-0720) Monday and Wednesday, Noon to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They are closed Tuesdays and Sundays.

Toms River: 1256 Indian Head Road & Route 9 South, Indian Head Shopping Plaza (732-349-3110), Monday, Noon to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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