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Donate blood and help save lives

Blood Bank of Delmarva’s 20th annual Ocean City Blood Drive held Jan. 17
By Kara Hallissey | Jan 11, 2018

(Jan. 12, 2018) Make a donation to help save lives during the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s 20th annual blood drive, which takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street.

“Every year, over 20,000 patients on Delmarva need life-saving transfusions, and most patients receive multiple blood products,” said Karesa Fleary, Blood Bank of Delmarva director of donor recruitment and marketing. “If you have ever had a loved one or good friend require a transfusion, you know first hand how important it is the blood be on the shelf and ready for the next person who needs it.”

For the last 19 years, the Blood Bank of Delmarva has collected blood from about 9,500 donors during this event. Every year, organizers set a goal and more than 350 people need to donate in 2018 to reach it. Last year, 350 registered to donate blood, Fleary said.

In addition, at least 25 double red cell donations are needed.

“This blood drive has become crucial to maintaining our blood inventories during the winter months,” Fleary said. “The large amount of blood we collect at this drive is enough to provide a one-day supply of blood to all the hospitals on Delmarva. Sixteen hospitals benefit from this drive.”

Donating blood only takes about 5-7 minutes, but the entire appointment runs approximately one hour. The donation appointment includes a mini-physical (blood pressure, temperature and pulse), medical history review, giving blood and post-donation refreshments.

All donors will receive a souvenir T-shirt and the chance to win a 43-inch smart television.

Many local businesses will be providing free refreshments for donors to enjoy after giving blood. They including pizza from the Dough Roller, fresh fruit from Wal-Mart, cookies from the Worcester County Girl Scouts and sweet treats from Candy Kitchen and Wockenfuss.

“To add more fun to the blood drive we are giving out door prizes throughout the day from local businesses, as well as the grand prize of a 43-inch smart television donated by Belly Busters on 45th Street,” Fleary said.

People with all blood types are urged to schedule an appointment in order to ensure an adequate supply of blood for all patients during the winter months. Every blood donation saves three lives.

Anyone who is between the ages of 17 and 79 years old (ages 80 and older should contact the Blood Bank of Delmarva eligibility coordinator at 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 for medical approval), weighs at least 110 pounds, is in general good health and meets the minimum eligibility requirements may give blood as often as every 56 days. All donors must provide a photo ID or two other forms of identification, including date of birth.

Organizers ask people who have active cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever or sore throat on donation day to choose another time to donate. Those on antibiotics for infection must wait 24 hours after they are finished to give blood.

Donors who got a tattoo or body piercing must wait 12 months to donate.

Those who have travelled to certain parts of the world may be deferred due to a potential risk of contracting an infection that may be transmitted through blood transfusion.

A few tips for giving blood are to stay hydrated and drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day leading up to the blood donation, avoid highly caffeinated energy drinks and get a good night’s sleep. Eat a substantial meal within three hours before giving blood and afterward avoid participating in strenuous physical labor or athletic activities for 24 hours.

“People should donate to help save someone’s life,” Fleary said. “Each day we need 350 donors to meet the needs of Delmarva hospitals, and Ocean City is up to that challenge. While the OC blood drive is in progress, we also keep our Christiana, Concord and Dover centers open collecting blood.”

The blood drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the convention center inside the Dockside Hall on 40th Street, and walk-in donors are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.

To schedule an appointment, visit www.delmarvablood.org, call 1-888-825-6638 or use the Blood Bank’s free mobile app.

Blood Bank of Delmarva is a nonprofit, community service program that provides blood for hospitals in the region. The organization provides the majority supply of blood for 16 hospitals and a few secondary ones. More than 350 blood donors are needed every day to meet the needs of patients at these hospitals.

“This is the longest running blood drive event we have,” Donor Recruiter Suzanne Murray stated in a release. “It works because the whole town comes together to support the blood drive. City and county employees are encouraged to donate and are allowed to donate on work time. The town donates the convention center space to us, which makes the blood drive cost effective. Ocean City donors supply enough blood for the entire Delmarva Peninsula the day of their blood drive.”

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