The region’s blood supply is dangerously low and donors are desperately needed.
On Monday, Blood Bank of Delmarva announced the shortage and called on donors to sign up for appointments at its local donor centers or pop-up locations. The state of the local blood supply mirrors the current shortage across the nation.
Before COVID-19, donors could stop by community blood drives at convenient locations like high schools, colleges and offices. It has been over a year since these groups had to cancel their blood drives due to COVID-19 and few have been able to resume these life-saving events.
Approximately 41,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States. Every two seconds someone needs blood. One out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood. 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life saving blood transfusions.
In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, reserves are below that minimum.
BBD currently has a 3.7-day supply of blood available for distribution, which is well below the seven-day supply needed by area hospitals. The region’s health care system requires 350 to 380 people to donate each day to treat patients ranging from trauma victims to newborn babies and their mothers to cancer patients. Donors with type O and type A blood are especially needed as BBD currently has a less than a day’s supply of O positive, a 1.9-day supply of O negative and a 4.2-day supply of A positive blood.
The blood bank is taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms.
Donations to the Blood Bank of Delmarva are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visiting www.delmarvablood.org.
The American Red Cross and Anne Arundel Medical Center also host local blood drives and provide blood for patients from the Mid-Shore. They also are in need. Information about upcoming drives are available on their websites.
The AMMC Bloodmobile will be at the United Communities Volunteer Fire Department, 9406 Romancoke Road, Stevensville, from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 30, for its monthly collection. The link for appointments can be accessed through the UCVFD Facebook page.
Just one donation can help save as many as three people’s lives. Make an appointment to donate blood today.