Blood Bank of Delmarva calling for blood donations as Dorian makes landfall in U.S.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater forward-deployed four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews in support of search and rescue and humanitarian aid in the Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019. As Hurricane Dorian makes its way across the Bahamas, the Coast Guard is ready to assist as needed. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater)

The Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) is calling for blood donations as Hurricane Dorian has now made landfall in the US. To assist local blood centers in the areas affected by Dorian, BBD has shipped units of blood and more donations are needed in order to ensure blood is available in the aftermath of the storm.

Donated blood is perishable, so the supply must be constantly replenished. The storm comes as the national blood supply was already low following a drop in donations over Labor Day weekend.

Hurricane Dorian is expected to continue moving north, and although the storm’s peak winds have dropped from when it was a Category 5, the hurricane has grown in size and its hurricane and tropical-storm-force winds are expected to impact more areas.

Disruption in the supply would impact the health of people suffering from medical emergencies or chronic conditions. Donations are used to help cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.

Richard Thomas, senior executive director at the Blood Bank of Delmarva, said, “In times of crisis, local blood centers are called upon to help other parts of the country in need, meaning our already low blood reserves are stretched even further. As Hurricane Dorian makes landfall, it is up us to ensure that hospitals and patients in affected areas have access to the life-saving blood they need, so we urge all residents to take one hour to donate blood and help those in danger.”

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