Blood Bank of Delmarva issues call for help

Noel Primos of Milford is a regular donor at the Blood Bank in Dover and made a donation on Monday afternoon. Phlebotomist Coreen Harris of Dover handled his donation. (Delaware State News/Ashton Brown)

Noel Primos of Milford is a regular donor at the Blood Bank in Dover and made a donation on Monday afternoon. Phlebotomist Coreen Harris of Dover handled his donation. (Delaware State News/Ashton Brown)

DOVER —– The Blood Bank of Delmarva needs more donations, especially from type O negative donors.

“This past weekend really caught us by surprise,” said Michael Waite, director of marketing and community relations for the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

“There were a series of trauma cases which really cut into our resources,” he explained.

One trauma patient can require tens and sometimes up to 100 units (pints) of blood, so even a few cases can lead to a serious depletion of the Blood Bank’s reserves.

“O negative is the most important when it comes to a trauma case because in many instances there isn’t enough time to type a patient before a transfusion is needed. So they’ll go straight for O negative because it will get the job done,” Mr. Waite said.

O negative blood is the universal donor and can be transfused safely to an individual of any blood type, making it ideal for emergency situations.

“We’re appealing to dedicated donors in our community, as well as to new donors, who may be able to help us,” Mr. Waite said.

“We’re aware of the challenges of making this appeal following a holiday weekend and during spring break, but unfortunately the need for blood never takes a vacation.”

It’s not just O negative blood in demand. The Blood Bank encourages donation of all types because in non-emergency situations, your blood may be transfused to a match.

The Blood Bank of Delmarva has five fixed donor locations, Newark, Dover and Wilmington in Delaware, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Salisbury, Maryland, as well as more than 30 regularly scheduled mobile locations.

Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins also are welcome during this time, Mr. Waite said. The nonprofit organization needs 350 donors a day to meet the needs of the hospitals served in the Delmarva region to ensure that more than 20,000 patients a year receive needed blood transfusions, he said.

To schedule an appointment, visit www.DelmarvaBlood.org, call (888) 8-BLOOD-8 or download the free mobile app.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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