Winter weather has left BBD with a shortage of Type O-Negative, platelets

Earlier this week, the Blood Bank of Delmarva issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors to give now, to address a winter blood donation shortage.

O-negative and platelet blood donations, in particular, are critically needed right now, according to a Blood Bank press release.

“Severe winter weather with snow storms has had a tremendous impact on blood donations,” the release states. “More than 12 blood drives have been canceled in March causing more than 600 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Further adding to the low supply was the flu season, as well as higher blood usage at several local hospitals responding to traumas.”

O-Negative is the universal blood type and is used to treat patients during emergencies when their blood type is unknown.

Platelets are regularly used to treat patients recovering from cancer and have a shelf life of five days.

Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by visiting donate.bbd.org or call at 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

Donors can also walk into any the Bank’s four centers: Christiana, and Dover, Salisbury, Md., and Chadds Ford, Pa.

Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may give blood as often as every 56 days, according to the release.

All donors must provide a photo ID or two other forms of identification, including date of birth.

According to the release, 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.

Although the urgent need is O-Negative blood, all types are needed every day to ensure an adequate blood supply.

“Please be a hero and help us provide hope to those who need blood,” the release states.