UM Chester River Health Foundation Hosts Blood Drive Amidst Blood Shortage Emergency
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 http://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.