Delaware Public Media

Out-of-state plasma donations gives boost to Blood Bank of Delmarva

May 31, 2020

Blood Bank of Delmarva saw a recent spike in out-of-state plasma donations.  But, its blood supplies are still below the normal level.

The blood bank says most plasma donations came from the Orthodox Jewish community which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.  That makes their donations useful as convalescent plasma for current COVID patients.

Spokesperson Tony Prado cited its partnership with the New York Blood Center for getting them to the centers.

“New York Blood Center had a lot of appointments that were filled up.  So when they went to New York and found that they would have to wait awhile,” Prado said.  “They learned that they drove an hour-and-a half on the Jersey Turnpike, they can come to us and donate.  And, they started doing that.”

Prado said outside donors experienced no problems donating in Delaware.  He noted they’re considered “essential” and exempt from the state’s fourteen-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers.

More blood donations are coming into the Blood Bank of Delmarva.  But, supplies are still not up to par.

The regional blood bank says it currently has a six-day supply in its reserves.  Prado said only a near two-day supply is available and remains confident more donations will come.

“The reason why we can say it’s a total of 6.2 days is that there’s actually 266 units in process as we speak.  That means that our lab folks in the white coats are working hard to process the blood,” Prado said.  “You know de-manufacturing process and also the very important testing occurs.”   

Prado said those units should be processed by Monday.  He notes that Mondays are busy order days for hospitals.

The Blood Bank of Delmarva’s reserves were low due to the canceled blood drives during the COVID-19.  Donation centers reopened due to low reserves and increasing hospital orders.  And Blood drives have slowly returned after many were canceled due to the pandemic.