Betsy Ryan is president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Her blog, Healthcare Matters, examines the many issues confronting New Jersey's hospitals and their patients. Readers are encouraged to join the discussion, because healthcare matters - to all of us.

Save 3 Lives: Give Blood

NJHA was honored to hold a press conference recently with Commissioner of Health Heather Howard and the Workplace Blood Donor Coalition on the importance of giving blood. New Jersey, unfortunately, has a chronic problem with blood shortages, and our donor rate is far below the national average. As part of the event, we hosted our own blood drive here, and more than 50 NJHA employees, along with Commissioner Howard herself, donated blood.

One pint of blood has the potential to save three lives. New Jerseyans by and large are a generous group, and I encourage you to consider donating a pint of blood….or to organize a blood drive where you work. This month (which, by the way, is National Blood Donor Awareness Month) more than 70 blood drives have been scheduled by hospitals, other healthcare providers, blood centers and workplaces in our state.

Our hospitals transfuse 500,000 units of blood to our patients each year. This blood is essential for accident victims, cancer patients, burn victims, organ transplant recipients and premature infants and children having heart surgery. Unfortunately, most of us have had a loved one fall into one of these categories. Be a hero, and roll up your sleeve and give blood. Save three lives in the process. Be sure to eat and drink something healthy ahead of time. And let me know how you do. Whether you're a first-time donor or one of those regulars who measures contributions in gallons, I'd love to hear from you.
Written by Betsy Ryan at 20:18

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