Blood Bank of Delmarva

University of Delaware student Alicia Stratman donates platelets in the Christiana Donor Center near Newark.

The Blood Bank of Delmarva issued an urgent call for blood donors Monday, as the organization experiences a shortage due to the pandemic.

The state of the local blood supply mirrors the current shortage across the nation, spokesman Tony Prado said.

Before the pandemic, donors could stop by community blood drives at convenient locations like high schools, colleges and offices. However, it has been over a year since these groups had to cancel their blood drives due to COVID-19, and only a few have been able to resume these life-saving events.

The blood bank currently has less than a four-day supply of blood available for distribution, which is well below the seven-day supply needed by area hospitals, Prado said. The region’s healthcare system requires 350 to 380 people to donate each day to treat patients ranging from trauma victims to newborn babies and their mothers to cancer patients.

Donors with type O and type A blood are especially needed, as the blood bank currently has a 0.7-day supply of O positive, 1.9-day supply of O negative and a 4.2-day supply of A positive blood.

“With thousands getting vaccinated each day, we are thrilled to watch our state recover from this catastrophic year,” Senior Executive Director Patricia Killeen said. “Across the country, blood centers are reporting the same concerning trend: a decline in blood donations. As our region bounces back in strides this spring, we need everyone to make an appointment and donate blood to help save lives. While the end of the pandemic is near, our struggle to fight for those in need continues.”

Donations are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visiting www.delmarvablood.org. People are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms.

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