Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across the state to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply.

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. And in order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually replenished. Right now, reserves are below that minimum.

These low levels are particularly dangerous leading into summer months, when people are less likely to donate blood as schools go on summer break and families take vacations. The best preparation for life-threatening situations is having blood on hospital shelves in advance.

“Hospitals and patients rely on blood donors year-round, but with blood supplies at critical lows, now more than ever is the time to donate,” said Michele Hart-Henry, vice president and chief operating officer of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “By hosting a blood drive, spreading the word, or simply taking an hour of their day to give blood, Delmarva residents can help ensure everyone has access to the life-saving blood they need.”

Community members are encouraged to find time to donate blood at a BBD donor center or convenient mobile blood drive, especially donors with O negative and B negative blood types. O negative blood donors are considered “universal,” and their blood type is needed most readily in trauma situations and emergency rooms across the country. B negative is a particularly rare blood type.

Companies, organizations, and community groups are also encouraged to host a blood drive this summer to help rebuild the blood supply, especially during the months of July and August.

“While we are in the midst of our annual Summer Blood Drive, increased usage in the last few weeks coupled with the normal summer slowdown in donations cause us to put out a more urgent appeal,” Hart-Henry said.

In just 60 minutes, you can donate one pint of blood and Save a Life, Right Here, Right Now in your own community. About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished. Those in need include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.

How to help:

  1. Donate blood or platelets at a donor center.
  2. Donate at a mobile blood drive.
  3. Host a blood drive in your community or at your organization.
  4. Educate others in your family, community, and organization about blood donations, and encourage them to donate themselves and/or host a blood drive.
  5. Promote the need for blood donors on social media.

BBD serves all the hospitals in the Delmarva Peninsula with donor centers in Chadds Ford, Pa.; Christiana, Del.; Dover, Del. and Salisbury, Md. We are urging donors to walk in to any of our centers or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 to make an appointment. Donors can also make an appointment online at