Blood Bank makes appeal for donations as supply dwindles

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The Blood Bank of Delmarva has issued an urgent appeal for the community to donate blood and platelets to help patients in need.

It takes more than 350 donors per day to supply the 19 hospitals throughout the Delmarva Peninsula with the blood products they need, the organization noted.

Giving back was Elizabeth Kullenwho needed three units of O positive blood as she battled a serious illness and care at Christiana Hospital. This week she donated blood in BBD’s Christiana Donor Center to start the process of giving back. (Transfusion recipients can donate blood after one year.)

“I think back to all the people in the hospital who helped me and also to those who gave blood that saved my life,” Kullen said. “I think it’s so important to be grateful but, on top of that, I think it’s important to give back. So, I’m here donating just like those people did. It’s important that we all stand together.”

Blood donations are below what is needed to maintain an ideal, seven-day supply of blood, a release noted. At last report, supplies for O positive and O negative red blood cells and platelets are at about a two-day supply.

People with the O positive blood type are in demand because they have the most common blood type in America (39 percent of the population). O negative red blood cells are always in demand because these RBCs are the universal donor that can be transfused to anyone in an emergency when there is no time to type a patient’s blood. O negative is rarer (7 percent).

Platelets are the part of blood responsible for clotting and are crucial for leukemia and other cancer patients.They have a very short shelf life – only five days – because they cannot be refrigerated. Donors are needed daily.

Donors canwalk into any of the Blood Bank’s centers or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 to make an appointment. Donors can also make an appointment online athttps://donate.bbd.org.

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