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Blood Bank of Delmarva Declares Blood Emergency

They need to achieve their goal of 62,000 blood donations this year to help save lives

DELMARVA (June 18, 2018) – Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across the state to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply.

It takes at least 350 donors per day to supply the 19 local hospitals throughout the Delmarva Peninsula with the blood they need for patients. And in order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, reserves are below that minimum.

These low levels are particularly dangerous leading into summer months, when people are less likely to donate blood as schools go on summer break and families take vacations. The best preparation for life-threatening situations is having blood on hospital shelves in advance.

“Hospitals and patients rely on blood donors year-round, but with blood supplies at critical lows, now more than ever is the time to donate,” said Michele Hart-Henry, vice president and chief operating officer of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “By hosting a blood drive, spreading the word, or simply taking an hour of their day to give blood, Delmarva residents can help ensure everyone has access to the life-saving blood they need.”

Community members are encouraged to find time to donate blood at a BBD donor center or convenient mobile blood drive, especially donors with O negative and B negative blood types. O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency rooms across the country. B negative is a particularly rare blood type.

Companies, organizations, and community groups are also encouraged to host a blood drive this summer to help rebuild the blood supply, especially during the months of July and August.

“While we are in the midst of our annual Summer Blood Drive, increased usage in the last few weeks coupled with the normal summer slowdown in donations cause us to put out a more urgent appeal,” Hart-Henry said.

In just 60 minutes, you can donate one pint of blood and Save a Life, Right Here, Right Now in your own community. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished. Those in need include 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.

How to help:

  1. Donate blood or platelets at a donor center.
  2. Donate at a mobile blood drive.
  3. Host a blood drive in your community or at your organization.
  4. Educate others in your family, community, and organization about blood donations, and encourage them to donate themselves and/or host a blood drive.
  5. Promote the need for blood donors on social media.

BBD serves all the hospitals in the Delmarva Peninsula with donor centers in Chadds Ford, Pa.; Christiana, Del.; Dover, Del. and Salisbury, Md. We are urging donors to walk in to any of our centers or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 to make an appointment. Donors can also make an appointment online at




Calvin DeShields continues donating 10 years after he first gave in high school

Calvin DeShields first donated whole blood when he was a student at William Penn High School in 1998, his first lesson in how much the simple act of donating blood helps people.

William Penn’s annual, two-day blood drive is the biggest BBD holds among high schools in the Delmarva Peninsula, drawing 300 donors.

Several of BBD’s high school donors go on to become life-long donors. That includes Concord (Pa.) Donor Center regular Gary Martin, who first donated at Claymont High School in 1975, and 2017 Seaford graduates Kurtis Webber and Cheyanne Toomey, who came back to donate at their alma mater in November.

It’s the same with DeShields, who remembered his initial experience with William Penn. He took a little break while studying at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. But, when he completed his studies he came back to the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

“I graduated in 2003 and when I came back a year later to the area I figured I might as well get back into it,” DeShields said. “I like to help people out. If I was in a bad situation, it would be nice to know somebody was looking out for me. I’ll help somebody out if I can. I’m happy to help out.

“I actually started doing platelets near the end of last year. I figure, if you have a couple of hours to kill, why not?” he said. “Lucky for me, I usually have two days off each week. And, really, everybody should have time to donate at least twice a year.”

DeShields, born in 1981, thinks using visuals, such as a video, is the best way to recruit more young people into the donor chairs.

“Show them who donating helps,” DeShields said. “Let them realize that if they were in that position, they would like to know somebody is donating for them too.”

If you would like to be like Calvin DeShields and donate whole blood or platelets, please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit

Summer Blood Drive launch emphasizes constant need for blood

Seaford High School senior Hannah Henderson speaks about running three blood drives for BBD at her school during her remarks at the Summer Blood Drive launch.

Blood Bank of Delmarva’s Summer Blood Drive launch on May 21 brought together special guests, sponsors, staff and members of the public to help raise awareness about the constant need for blood.

The crowd filled up the seats in the atrium for the formal remarks, and the event received media coverage by WHYY TV and FM, Channel 6ABC, Channel 10NBC and WJBR 99.5 FM.

BBD Executive Director Michele Hart-Henry on Monday asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they were planning to go to the beach or take some other vacation this summer. Most people’s arms shot up.

“The theme of this year’s Summer Blood Drive is, ‘What are you doing this summer?’” Hart-Henry said. “While most people will have vacation and weekend trips to the beach on their minds this summer, we are just asking people to remember that the need for blood never takes a vacation. In the summer, we lose our college and high school blood drives that comprise 20 percent of blood collected during the school year. On top of that drop off, more people are active in the summertime, leading to a need for blood.”

Christiana Care Trauma Center Associate Director Sherry Sixta, M.D., who was among BBD’s special guests for the launch, stressed the ongoing need for blood in the “business of saving lives.”

“Christiana Care Hospital is the only level one trauma center in the State of Delaware,” Dr. Sixta said. “We see nearly all of the critically ill trauma patients within our state, and we also support the surrounding Tri-State region. Simply put, transfusions save lives. We could not do what we do without the generosity of donors like we have here today or our relationship with the Blood Bank of Delmarva.”

Seaford High School graduating senior Hannah Henderson, another special guest, coordinated three blood drives at her school for BBD this school year and filled appointments with students, staff, school board members, parents and even alumni.

“It’s helped me connect with my community more while reaching out to donors, and it has opened my eyes to the true effect donating blood has on communities,” Henderson said.

Among BBD’s other specials guests, former blood recipient John Nanni talked about how the blood donations from 12 people saved his life during major heart surgery, inspiring him to donate platelets 273 times, and counting. The audience also met Chris Melvin and her daughter, Elizabeth “Lee Lee” Cauffman, who was saved by five units of blood after a serious car accident in June 2010.

Other guests included New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, who gave welcoming remarks; John Gentile, staff assistant for U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a longtime blood donor; platelets donor Dan Grim and his wife, Pat, who lost their eldest daughter to cancer; Michael Healy, director of blood bank services at Christiana Care; Linda Wirt, St. Georges Technical High School medical assisting teacher and coordinator of the STG blood drives; and St. Georges students Ashley Smith and Rose Buesmaill, who will run their school’s blood drives next year.

BBD would like to give a special thanks to corporate sponsors, TD Bank and Bayshore Moving & Storage as well as Desserts by Dana, Sherm’s Catering, Red Frog Events and Sam’s Club in Salisbury, Md., for their in-kind donations.

Reminder: All donors who present to donate during the Summer Blood Drive from May 21 to Sept. 11 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Disney World.

And from May 21 to May 29, donors will also automatically be entered to win two free general admission weekend passes to Firefly Music Festival set for June 14-17, 2018!

Please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit to make an appointment. And have a happy, safe summer.

Summer Blood Drive launch set for May 21

CHRISTIANA, Del. – “What are you doing this summer?” The easy answer at Blood Bank of Delmarva is saving lives, and it’s also the theme of this year’s Summer Blood Drive! BBD is launching its 16th annual summer blood donation awareness campaign because, while the need for blood never takes a vacation, blood donations typically drop off during the warmer months.

BBD’s Summer Blood Drive kicks off on Monday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Christiana Donor Center, 100 Hygeia Drive, Newark, DE 19713. The launch is open to the public. BBD will have tours and WJBR on location broadcasting live with Michael Waite. We’ll also recognize our honored guests and have remarks led by BBD Executive Director Michele Hart-Henry at 1 p.m.

Specials guests include New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, a blood donor; John Gentile, staff assistant for U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a longtime blood donor; Dr. Sherry Sixta, associate medical director of Christiana Care Health System’s Trauma Program; Michael Healy, director, Blood Bank Services at Christiana Care; blood recipient and accident survivor Elizabeth “Lee Lee” Cauffman (nee Jones) and her mother, Chris Melvin; longtime platelets donor and former blood recipient John Nanni; University of Delaware Chief Technology Officer Daniel Grim, a longtime platelets donor; and Seaford High School seniors Hannah Henderson and Sky Doughty, coordinators of the Seaford High blood drives; and Linda Wirt, St. Georges Technical High School Medical Assisting teacher and coordinator of the STG Blood Drives.

It takes over 70,000 people each year throughout the Delmarva Peninsula to meet the needs of patients in the 19 hospitals in our region and the need for blood never takes a summer break. Because when someone needs blood, it’s no vacation. This year’s Summer Blood Drive aims to collect more than 30,000 units of blood.

Donors who present to donate between May 21 and Sept. 11 will be automatically entered to win the grand prize, a trip for four to Disney World. To learn more, please visit

Members of the media are asked to please RSVP for the launch to Tony Prado at Thank you.

BBD serves all the hospitals in the Delmarva Peninsula with donor centers in Chadds Ford, Pa.; Christiana, Del.; Dover, Del. and Salisbury, Md. For more information, please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit


Blood Bank of Delmarva and New York Blood Center Join Forces

NEWARK, DE and NEW YORK, NY, AUGUST 2, 2017 – Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) and
New York Blood Center (NYBC), both community-based, nonprofit blood centers,
announced today that they are merging their operations to create one of the leading blood
centers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The new partnership brings together the complementary strengths of BBD and NYBC to
deliver a broad range of blood banking expertise that will position both organizations to
deliver next generation blood banking innovations. The merger will position BBD to better
serve its hospital network, expand its laboratory testing services and create opportunities to
participate in significant blood research projects operated by NYBC.

“This is an exceptional moment for our companies and the communities we serve,” said BBD
CEO John Ferretti. “In today’s increasingly challenging and evolving blood banking
environment it is imperative that like-minded organizations work together to improve
access to safe blood products. This merger will ensure BBD’s long-term success in a
challenging healthcare environment.”

Day-to-day operations at the companies will not be impacted. BBD will continue to operate
under its own name and will continue to serve customers in Delaware, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Maryland and elsewhere. Mr. Ferretti will continue as CEO of BBD. BBD’s
blood donors and volunteers will continue to receive the same service they’ve come to
expect from the organization, while hospital customers will have access to a broader
portfolio of blood products and services.

Christopher D. Hillyer, M.D., President and CEO of NYBC, said: “We’re extremely pleased to
be partnering with such an excellent blood center. NYBC and BBD have a remarkable
alignment of mission, vision and talent. We look forward to working together to ensure the
finest customer-focused service for our hospitals and patients. We welcome BBD to the
NYBC family.” With this merger Dr. Hillyer will become President of BBD.
NYBC is renowned for its comprehensive, sophisticated research and product development
capabilities. This will allow BBD to offer new services, skills and products throughout its
service area, including immunohematology and cellular therapy lab services that BBD
currently does not offer.

The long term goal of both organizations is to identify opportunities for collaboration as we
move forward.

Download a copy of this press release.

Susan – Forest Hill, Maryland

Susan Fisher celebrated living cancer-free by hosting a blood drive and spending time with her family and friends.

Susan had always been a dedicated donor, but when she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1989, she was told she couldn’t donate for at least five years after treatment.  This upset Susan because the recent cancer diagnosis only strengthened her desire to help other patients.

But years later, her commitment to giving back did not waiver.  With her doctor’s approval, she hosted a blood drive the soonest she could and donated whole blood again.  She shared this moment with her growing family and friends.

Susan is now 23 years cancer-free and has three wonderful children.  She continues to donate regularly.  Her father also developed and passed away from malignant melanoma, so she is committed to helping new cancer patients in their battles.  Since Susan is now eligible to give platelets, her goal is to make 12 donations by the end of 2017.  She even drives over an hour to donate at our Christiana location because she believes in our lifesaving mission!

Logan – Cambridge, Maryland

Logan Steward is one of many children who rely on the generosity of blood donors.  He lives with a qualitative blood platelet disorder.  Logan’s blood chemistry doesn’t function normally and platelets in his blood can’t clot to stop bleeding. Things like routine dentist and orthodontist visits must be done in a hospital because the smallest cut can turn into a bigger problem.  Logan’s aunt and Blood Bank of Delmarva volunteer, Sherye Hathaway Nickerson, explained, “A hospital is a safe place for him because donated blood is easily accessible.”

Complex surgeries are even more serious because of Logan’s blood disorder.  So when Logan was diagnosed with Pediatric Chiari malformation, a condition where fluid builds up at the base of the skull, extra precautions were taken during his corrective surgery in 2012.  He received blood transfusions from 25 platelet and blood donors before, during, and after the operation.   The Blood Bank of Delmarva is an important organization to Logan’s family because of our life saving mission.  Thanks to the selfless people who give back with our organization everyday, the blood will continue to be there for Logan and other children like him.

Nina – Wilmington, Delaware

Nina Bond raised over $700 for the Blood Bank of Delmarva in memory of her father using Facebook’s fundraiser feature.  She wanted to give back to the organization that helped extend her father’s final days with his family.  Nina’s father Chuck Dover was in good shape, but his health took a sudden turn after he got the flu.  No one could have predicted he’d be in the ICU of Christiana hospital for over 40 days.  There, he bravely fought an aneurysm in his spleen, pneumonia, and respiratory failure.  Doctors told the Bond family he was the sickest patient at the hospital.

Nina explained, “He wouldn’t have survived as long as he had without receiving over 100 blood transfusions.”  Blood transfusions gave Chuck a chance to heal but his lungs couldn’t recover.  The Bond family’s loss is tragic and reminds us why maintaining our blood supply is so vital.  Hospitals need a high amount of blood products to be ready for any surprise health emergencies.  Blood donors give patients a shot at recovery and more time with loved ones.  Nina and her family urge new donors to give back and aid current patients the same way Chuck was supported.

Tommy – Wilmington, Delaware

Tommy Kenney of Wilmington, DE has been a regular platelet and whole blood donor since 1997. During that time a good friend from high school and sister-in-law were both diagnosed with cancer. “It’s frustrating watching people suffer because you want to help. Donating blood is the one way I could contribute to their fight against the disease” says Tommy.
Later in 2010, his brother Huey was diagnosed with leukemia. This only reinforced his commitment to giving back. “I’ve seen firsthand how platelets rejuvenate a person. It’s an amazing gift to be able to help a cancer patient feel physically better.” He urges those who are unsure about donating to talk to a cancer patient or survivor and ask how blood transfusions helped them. As for the process of donating, he said “the experience is great, you watch a movie or TV, you get waited on and you’re treated like a star.”

Catherine – Newark, Delaware

Scott Hicks received many blood transfusions as he battled Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009 (cancer of the lymphatic system). Transfusions are important for cancer patients because radiation, chemotherapy treatments, and treatment-related surgeries fight cancer but also harm healthy blood counts. Patients may experience fatigue, excessive bleeding, or bruising from reduced red cell and platelet counts. Blood transfusions boost blood levels back to normal and help the patient feel better during treatment.

Scott passed away six months after his diagnosis, but the blood donations he received helped him during his fight and prolonged his last days with family and loved ones. Catherine, Scott’s wife, shows her gratitude by donating blood for current cancer patients and says it’s easy for anyone to start giving. She explained that donating at the Blood Bank of Delmarva is simple because, “the staff works around your schedule to find an appointment.” Chances are there is someone in your neighborhood battling cancer. Your donation can become the next transfusion that helps give patients a chance at recovery.