Members of the Milford Community came out Friday, June 24 to donate to a cause greater than themselves. Giving blood at the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s mobile site at Bayhealth Medical Center, donors were able to help the Blood Bank meet the needs of patients, hospitals, and members for safe, high quality blood products and related services. Part of the Summer Blood Drive, the mobile site will be back to visit the Milford area six more times before the end of summer.
Renee Wright of Milford has been donating blood since 1986. Watching her father battle Leukemia, she knows first hand the importance that blood can play in saving the lives of loved ones. She remembers walking through the cancer ward during her father’s fight with cancer, and still remembers the many people that received blood during their stay.
“There were so many people that needed blood and there are so many that still do,” said Wright. “There are so many people that can donate but they do not, the need for blood is so great.”
According to Blood Bank of Delmarva Account Executive Alexis Innis, out of the total population of the United States, only 20% of individuals are eligible. Out of that 20%, only 5% actually donate blood. Delawareans have recently given more than the national average. Innis reports that around 12% of the eligible population in the First State donate blood.
“The blood donated will be used to help supply trauma scenarios in local emergency rooms, transfusions for cancer patients and needs for mothers that are having babies,” said Innis. Blood Bank of Delmarva provides blood and blood products to 16 hospitals on the Delmarva Peninsula. More than 79,000 blood donations are needed in this area each year for about 20,000 patients across the Delmarva Peninsula.
Blood Collection Technician Aida Starecheski has been helping draw blood for the organization as she works in the mobile site that covers most of Delmarva on a continuing rotation. “It is a rewarding job. It saves people’s lives,” said Starecheski. For individuals uncertain about giving blood for the first times she states that, “They should give it a try, it really is not that hard.”
Giving whole blood takes about 5 to 7 minutes. The entire donation appointment, including a mini-physical including blood pressure, temperature and pulse measuring, medical history review and post-donation refreshments takes about an hour. Volunteers like Marie White are encouraging people to get their families involved. “My daughter, granddaughter and I donate blood together in honor of my late husband,” said White. “Being a nurse, I see the need and we need more people to donate.”
Blood Bank of Delmarva has donation sites located throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. To find the closest donation center or mobile blood drive, individuals can visit https://www.delmarvablood.org/donate/blood-donation-sites/. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, individuals can call 302-737-8400 or 888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit donate.bbd.org/.
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