The Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has declared a blood shortage emergency and is asking people across the state to donate blood to help replenish blood supplies.
The Chester River Health Foundation is answering the call by holding its annual blood drive on Friday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Donors register in the Conference Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; the blood draws will take place in BBD’s mobile van in the parking lot. The goal is to collect a minimum of 40 pints of all types of blood, including double red cells.
According to Blood Bank of Delmarva officials, it takes at least 380 donors per day to supply the 19 local hospitals throughout the Delmarva Peninsula with the blood they need. To maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, the available inventory is at just three days for the core four blood types, i.e. O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative.
These low levels are particularly dangerous in the summer months, when people are less likely to donate blood due to vacations.
One pint of blood can save up to three lives. According to national blood banking statistics, 38 percent of the American population is eligible to give blood but only 3 percent of that select group actually donates. If every eligible blood donor gave at least twice a year, there would never be a blood shortage.
“Hospitalizations are going up and far outpacing the number of donations we are receiving,” said Patty Killeen, Blood Bank of Delmarva Senior Executive Director. “We must raise awareness and encourage lapsed donors who have not donated since before COVID-19 to return, and we must attract the next generation of blood donors to help us build a healthy blood supply.”
Make an appointment today by visiting https://smarturl.it/BBD_Donate or by calling the Delmarva Blood Bank directly, 1-888-825-6638. (If calling the DBB directly, donors should indicate their donation is for the Chester River Health Foundation Blood Drive.) Donors can also download the scheduling app to register from an Android or iPhone.
To donate blood donors must:
- be between the ages of 17 and 79 years old and have a photo ID with proof of birth date.
- weigh at least 110 pounds.
- be in general good health.
- adhere to piercing and tattoo guidelines. Donors are ineligible if they have received a tattoo, body piercing, or branding within the past 12 months.
- wear a mask while on site for the donation.
If you had COVID and have questions about donating blood, or if you have traveled outside of the United States recently, please call the Blood Bank for more information on your eligibility to donate blood.
About University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore professional schools (Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry) in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s more than 29,500 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations, including 13 hospitals and 9 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers. The UMMS flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.