Donations in recent weeks have been hundreds short of hospital need, a stark reminder of the fragility of our nation’s blood supply.

Lower donor turnout, holidays, and school breaks have resulted in a shortage of O negative red cells and platelets, but all types are needed.

DELAWARE – Today, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) announced a blood emergency following a period of low donor turnout due to holidays and school breaks. There is currently a 2-3-day supply of type O negative, as well as a critical shortage of platelets, but all donation types are needed.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and represents only 6% of the US population. It is most often used in trauma situations, allowing for immediate transfusions during emergencies. The current low supply of O negative blood is critical and donations from these donors are especially needed.

Additionally, we are still recovering from a nearly 50% decrease of youth and first-time blood donors since 2019, and working to rebuild donations from this population. At one time, youth donations represented 25% of our blood supply, but now only contribute 10% of the country’s donations.

“We are asking our community to respond during this blood emergency so that we are able to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals we serve,” said Steve Corse, Executive Director at Blood Bank of Delmarva. “We are calling on eligible donors to make an immediate blood or platelet donation, and it is our hope that we’ll see first time and youth donors answer our call for help.”

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

To make an appointment, donors can call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit

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About Blood Bank of Delmarva
Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) celebrates 70 Years of Extraordinary Lifesaving Research, Innovation and Impact. BBD is a nonprofit, community blood bank with a simple mission: saving lives. BBD 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 patient needs are met. BBD distributes over 130,000 blood products annually and operates four donor centers. Each year, BBD normally hosts over 600 blood drives that would not be possible without the commitment of community organizations that volunteer to serve as sponsors or coordinators, providing opportunities for blood donors to donate and help patients in need. BBD is a Division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises) and a member of AABB and ABC. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram, and LinkedIn.