OC hosts 22nd annual blood drive, why advocates say your donation is needed now more than ever
“We have hand sanitizing equipment all around the space and then you’ll see people wiping down chairs as soon as they get up. So, completely different, spread out, and socially distanced,” said Director of Recruitment for the Blood Bank of Delmarva, Marie Forrestal.
But according to Forrestal, the CDC guidelines aren’t the issue, it’s the high demand for blood with a lack of donations.
“During the bulk of this pandemic we had less than a 5-day blood supply of center blood times and it’s something the general public just doesn’t realize.”
Forrestal told 47ABC, that 25% of their donations came from high schools and colleges. With many being closed, it’s also closed the door of opportunity for donations.
In fact we’re told they’ve lost a total of 10,000 of units of blood … just from schools alone. It’s another reason why right now donors like, Mark Paddack, say every donation counts.
“Save a life, that’s it. It doesn’t cost you anything except for time and that blood can be used to help a lot of people,” said Paddack.
But it’s not just blood they’re in need of … it’s also plasma. A tool they’re using to test for anti-bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That is where they would come to one of our donor centers and donate convalescent plasma which is being transfused to critically ill COVID patients. Studies are showing that it is having a really positive benefit,” said Forrestal.
Paddock has been donating his blood since 1998 and now he hopes it inspires others to help give too.
“I’m just a baby when it comes to blood donations but I hope my leadership and continuing to do this may foster others to participate in this worthwhile program,” said Paddock.
47ABC wanted to clear up any confusion when it came to the vaccine and blood donations. According to Forrestal, you are able to donate as long as you are taking the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. If you obtain another vaccine, there is a two week deferral.
The drive will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 21, 8a.m. – 2:15 p.m. at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, Dockside Hall, Ocean City, MD 21842. To learn more about donating, click here.