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Recent winter weather leaves local blood supply depleted

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Amanda Romney
/
American Red Cross

The Blood Bank of Delmarva and Red Cross are asking for blood donations.

Both say recent winter weather has left the region’s blood supply is dangerously low. 

 

The Blood Bank says it was already struggling with supply. Most blood drives since last March involving high schools, colleges, offices and other community groups were canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Now, the snow storms and freezing temperatures are putting added strain on the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s blood supply by limiting donations.

Blood Bank of Delmarva communications specialist Tony Prado says the winter weather along with the pandemic hurt their numbers greatly.

"This snowfall that we haven't really seen in the past year or two here locally just adds to the challenge on top of the COVID-19 pandemic that we've been dealing with, it just makes it particularly difficult," said Prado

The inventory of O positive and B positive red blood cells is especially low, and Prado says O positive is always the most in demand.

"O positive is one of our important blood types. It's  the number one blood type in America, and people are tempted to think it's a very common blood type, it's readily available, well because of it's commonness it's the most in demand as it turns out by hospitals and so that's why we have to keep that particular blood type in stock."

Prado adds blood donations are taking place at the Dover Donor Center along with monthly blood drives at the Georgetown Cheer Center, and the Talleyville Fire Company. Appointments to dinatre can be made by calling 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visiting the Blood Bank of Delmarva's webpage.

Blood supply shortages are also affecting the Red Cross, and it is also asking for blood donations, especially those with type O.

It is holding a series of donation events in New Castle County in the coming weeks:

  • February 23 at the Brandywine Town Center from 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
  • March 3 at  Diamond State VFW Post 2863 from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.
  • March 3 at the Brandywine Town Center from 2 p.m.-7 p.m
  • March 11 at the Brandywine Town Center from 2 p.m.-7 p.m

Appointments to dinate cab be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, visiting the Red Cross website or downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.