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National Blood Donor Month Kicks Off Amid Continued Nationwide Blood Shortage and Omicron Surge

January is National Blood Donor Month and comes as a reminder of the constant need for a strong blood supply, particularly at this critical time when the region’s supply remains critically low

DELAWARE– This National Blood Donor Month, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) continues to call for more donors as the blood shortage extends into the new year. The region’s blood supply continues to be threatened by low donor turnout and blood drive cancellations due to surging levels of Omicron cases. Schools that had begun to reinstate student blood drives are once again canceling, perpetuating the dramatic decline in youth and first-time donors. Prior to the pandemic, 25 percent of annual blood donations were made at high schools and colleges, but the threat of a return to remote learning is making it nearly impossible for them to commit to hosting blood drives.

This is always a challenging time of year for the blood supply, as holiday plans and travel make donating blood less of a priority and winter weather can lead to blood drive cancellations. This year, those seasonal challenges are coinciding with a new wave of the pandemic. Blood centers across the country are and have been suffering from shortages since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.

“A strong blood supply is essential and can be threatened at any time with emergencies such as the unprecedented snow storm our region saw this past Monday, which caused blood drive cancellations” said Patty Killeen, Senior Executive Director at BBD. “National Blood Donor Month is a great time to sign up to donate blood and start the year by giving back, especially in the wake of this extreme weather and ongoing blood shortage.”

Donating blood is safe, and we have taken extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visiting www.delmarvablood.org

Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) will hold the 23rd annual Ocean City Blood Drive at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center amidst a local and national blood shortage. The Ocean City, Maryland, blood drive will be held over three days for the second straight year, thereby allowing for social distancing.  The three-day Ocean City Blood Drive is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 19, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842.

About Blood Bank of Delmarva: Founded in 1954, 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, a division of NYBCe, 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 normally 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. BBD is a New York Blood Center Enterprises affiliate and a member of AABB and ABC. For more information, please visit delmarvablood.org or follow us at facebook.com/delmarvabloodbank.

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