Blood Bank of Delmarva donors at all-time low (video)

The Blood Bank of Delmarva has declared a blood emergency because supplies have fallen below the three-day level of reserves for the 19 hospitals it serves. (Courtesy of Blood Bank of Delmarva)

The Blood Bank of Delmarva has declared a blood emergency because supplies have fallen below the three-day level of reserves for the 19 hospitals it serves. (Courtesy of Blood Bank of Delmarva)

The Blood Bank of Delmarva is having trouble meeting its daily goal of recruiting nearly 300 donors and it needs your help.

“Please keep in mind that there are patients in our communities that need blood every single day,” said CEO Roy Roper.

It’s not unusual for the number of donors to decrease during summer months due to family vacations and more, but this year the number of donors is at an all-time low and the need to donate is critical.

“When people don’t come in to donate that creates a challenge because now we have to make up for those units and so whether donors come in today or tomorrow, the need by the hospitals never changes,” Roper said.

The trend is also being seen nationally with all types of blood needed.

Tom Keane, a 40 year member of the blood bank, donates platelets which are often needed by cancer patients.

“[Giving] platelets usually takes a couple of hours so I think that people might be reluctant to give up that amount of time,” Keane said.

Keane is among the 10 percent of the U.S. population eligible to donate blood, and he’s dedicated for a special reason.

“I donate platelets now every two to three weeks because I know platelets are used a lot over at the A.I DuPont [Hospital for Children] and there are a lot of children that need platelets,” Keane said.

Besides platelets which have a very short shelf life, Roper describes what blood types are needed most in trauma centers. The need is especially great during the summer. That’s the busiest time of the year for trauma centers and hospitals.

“We also need type O and type B specifically for type O negative. O negative is a universal donor type and so in a trauma, for an example, O negative can be transferred into a patient with another blood type so it’s a critical blood type to have,” Roper said.

One thing is for certain according to Keane, if you’re still undecided about giving blood, the experience will certainly bring you one thing.

“You get that feeling that you are helping someone – and it doesn’t really cost you anything except some time and some of blood,” Keane said.

The Blood Bank of Delmarva is offering a few incentives for those who would like to donate. You could win a pair of 4 day passes to next year’s Firefly Music Festival in Dover or a $1,000 gift card from TD Bank.

To qualify, Blood bank officials are encouraging people to schedule an appointment online or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

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