Blood Bank of Delmarva declares blood emergency

Donations in recent weeks have been hundreds short of hospital need


Blood Bank of Delmarva announced April 8 a blood emergency following a period of low donor turnout due to holidays and school breaks.

There is currently a 2-3-day supply of type O negative, as well as a critical shortage of platelets, but all donation types are needed. 

Type O negative is the universal blood type and represents only 6% of the US population. It is most often used in trauma situations, allowing for immediate transfusions during emergencies. The current low supply of O negative blood is critical and donations from these donors are especially needed.

Additionally, Blood Bank of Delmarva is still recovering from a nearly 50% decrease of youth and first-time blood donors since 2019, and working to rebuild donations from this population. At one time, youth donations represented 25% of the blood supply, but now only contribute 10% of the country’s donations.

“We are asking our community to respond during this blood emergency so that we are able to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals we serve,” said Steve Corse, executive director at Blood Bank of Delmarva.

“We are calling on eligible donors to make an immediate blood or platelet donation, and it is our hope that we’ll see first time and youth donors answer our call for help.”

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions.

To view current eligibility guidelines, visit or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8.

To make an appointment, donors can call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit

Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.