For Immediate Release July 19, 2023

The Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has declared a severe blood shortage and is asking people across the region to donate blood to help replenish blood supplies.

The UM Chester River Health Foundation (CRHF), a Kent County based affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, is answering the call by holding a blood drive on Friday, August 25, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Conference Center. Donors should use the hospital's main entrance and request directions to the Conference Center at the front desk; 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.

"Our second goal is to collect at least 10 pints of O negative blood, said Maryann Ruehrmund, Executive Director, UM CRHF. "This type is in the highest demand because it can be given to anyone."

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.

According to national blood banking statistics, 38 percent of the American population is eligible to give blood but only 3 percent actually donates. If every eligible blood donor gave at least twice a year, there would never be a blood shortage.

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.

Make an appointment today by visiting or by calling the Delmarva Blood Bank at 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.

If you have traveled outside of the United States recently, please call the Blood Bank for more information on your eligibility to donate blood. If you had an initial positive COVID-19 test more than 10 days ago and your symptoms are resolving, you are eligible to donate.