Urgent need for blood and platelet donors as fears of coronavirus keep healthy donors away
CHRISTIANA, Del. – Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) is calling on healthy blood and platelet donors and community partners to help strengthen the region’s blood supply by keeping their calendar of appointments and upcoming blood drives, respectively.
Forty percent of blood donations in our region come from blood drives that are hosted by schools, organizations and businesses. As these groups take precautions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, BBD is seeing a growing number of cancelled blood drives and low donor turn-out at donor centers for the month of March. These cancellations pose a significant threat to the blood supply.
Blood is a critical component of emergency preparedness because blood is perishable, and the supply must be constantly replenished. The blood that’s on the shelf today is the blood that will save lives in an emergency.
“Every donation at every blood drive is critical,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO of Blood Bank of Delmarva. “As healthy, eligible donors, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the blood supply safe and robust. A resilient healthcare system is more important than ever and we’re counting on everyone to help maintain that.”
In anticipation of rolling cancellations of blood drives and low donor turn-out at centers, BBD is seeking to double the blood reserves now so that it can prevent shortages.
It’s important to know that donating blood is safe. BBD staff are trained in universal precautions to help prevent the risk of spreading infectious agents. They are also regularly cleaning public surfaces. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Donors are encouraged to refrain from donating, or attending a blood drive, if they have traveled to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks, as defined by CDC.
America’s Blood Centers has also issued a press release on concerns over the coronavirus negatively impacting the nation’s blood supply as well as a joint press release with AABB, the American Red Cross and the Armed Services Blood Program.
BBD provides life-saving blood and blood services to all 19 hospitals in the Delmarva Peninsula, and it tries to maintain a seven-day supply of all blood times on a daily basis. To book an appointment, please call 1-888-825-66388 or visit www.delmarvablood.org.
More about the Blood Bank of Delmarva
Blood Bank of Delmarva is a not-for-proﬁt 501(c)(3) community blood bank with a simple mission: saving lives. The Blood Bank of Delmarva achieves its mission every day by providing safe blood and blood products to all 19 hospitals in Delmarva and relies on over 80,000 volunteer blood donors each year to ensure patients’ needs are met. The Blood Bank of Delmarva distributes over 130,000 blood products annually and operates four donor centers. Each year, the Blood Bank of Delmarva hosts over 600 blood drives. These blood drives would not be possible without the commitment of community organizations that volunteer to serve as sponsors or coordinators, which provides opportunities for blood donors to give blood and help patients in need. For more information, please visit delmarvablood.org or follow us at facebook.com/delmarvabloodbank.
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Contacts: Jennifer Barden, Jennifer@risaheller.com, (646) 676-4486
Tony Prado, firstname.lastname@example.org, (302) 668-0060