(Jan. 11, 2013) It’s no secret the resort community is a generous one. Next week, the Blood Bank of Delmarva will demonstrate just that, when it presents its 2013 Beach Blanket Blood Drive, “OC Cares.”
“We’ve had such great support in that area,” Christine Serio, external communications specialist for the Blood Bank of Delmarva said of the Ocean City event, held annually at the convention center on 40th Street. “We appreciate how much they care about their community by donating blood.”
Last year, nearly 600 people donated blood during the resort’s two-day event; organizers hope to attract at least 700 donors this year.
“Obviously, the more the better,” she said. “In the last few years we’ve seen a little bit of a growth and we’re expecting it to continue.”
This will be the 15th year the Blood Bank has held the drive in Ocean City. The 2013 blood drive is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those interested in donating blood may contact the Blood Bank to make an appointment, which is encouraged, by calling 1-888-8BLOOD8 or online at www.delmarvablood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Donors must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health on the day of the donation. Anyone who received a body piercing or tattoo in the last 12 months will not be accepted. Serio said many people give blood annually, but there are also a number of first-time donors each year.
Donors will begin the process by answering questions about their medical history and lifestyle. They will then receive a mini-physical to check blood pressure, pulse and iron count before the actual donation begins. The entire process takes about an hour. The blood donation only lasts from five to 10 minutes, Serio said.
“It’s a simple, painless process, and it goes pretty quickly,” she said.
After the donation is complete, participants are asked to spend 15 minutes resting in the canteen area where a variety of snacks will be offered. Blood donors will also receive a free T-shirt.
After the blood is tested and deemed safe, the Blood Bank of Delmarva provides blood and blood products to 16 hospitals on the Delmarva Peninsula.
More than 300 blood donors are needed every day in this area to meet the needs of the 16 hospitals, Serio said. “In 58 years, we’ve never had a blood shortage, thanks to the very generous blood donors.”
One in three people will need blood during their lifetime. More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
According to the Blood Bank of Delmarva Web site, blood donations are separated into three components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Red blood cells are primarily used for trauma victims. Platelets are used for cancer and leukemia patients. Plasma is mainly used for burn victims.
The Beach Blanket Blood Drive was established in 1999 to promote blood donations in the winter, a time when blood supplies traditionally decrease as donors are kept away by colds and flu, bad weather and holiday travel.
Nearly 83,000 blood donations are needed each year for patients across Delmarva. This year, about 20,000 patients will need blood transfusions. Last year, approximately 48,000 people on Delmarva donated blood, producing about 80,000 blood products (red blood cells, platelets and plasma).
The Blood Bank of Delmarva operates four blood centers — Salisbury in Maryland, and Dover, Wilmington and Newark in Delaware — as well as more than 30 established mobile donation locations.
For additional information, call
1-888-8BLOOD8, or visit www.delmarvablood.org or www.facebook.com/delmarvabloodbank.