Blood Bank declares emergency, citing dangerously low supplies

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Blood Bank of Delmarva announced a blood emergency, with a 3.7 day overall blood supply as of early this week.

That includes  a 0.7-day supply for type O negative blood and 2.3 days for O positive blood. Ideally, the Blood Bank of Delmarva would have a 7-day supply of all blood types daily.

“The current numbers are indicative of how tough it’s been locally as well as nationally,” said Patty Killeen, senior executive director of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “Summer makes it even harder to collect blood as people are vacationing or traveling, so we are asking people to give blood now as the school year approaches.”

The Blood Bank of Delmarva has implemented new strategies to recruit young donors, among other things. That includes the successful Blood for a Brew Summer Tour drives, sponsored by TD Bank, and held in partnership with local breweries Two Stones Pub, Revelation, Big Oyster, Tall Tales, Camp Adventureland, Dogfish Head and Crooked Hammock. 

A temporary lease entered into with Tanger Outlets near Rehoboth has been another way to increase the number young donors through the “meeting donors where they are” strategy, Director of Donor Recruitment Marie Forrestal said. This pop-up donor center began in May and will last through October.

In addition, BBD has encouraged young donors to give in  stationary donor centers in Christiana,  Chadds Ford, Dover, Dagsboro, and Salisbury, Md.

Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

Please note that, it usually only takes one hour to give whole blood. But, given the national hiring shortage that BBD is not immune to, Blood Bank of Delmarva staff ask for patience as wait times may be extended during the blood emergency.

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