In a rare schedule change at Blood Bank of Delmarva, the organization will now be open for platelet donors at the Christiana and Dover Donor Centers on the Sundays after Christmas and New Year's Day.


In a rare schedule change at Blood Bank of Delmarva, the organization will now be open for platelet donors at the Christiana and Dover Donor Centers on the Sundays after Christmas and New Years Day. The donor centers are usually closed on Sundays, but because the holidays fall on Saturday this year, recruiting “holiday donors” will be essential to avoid platelet shortages over the next few weeks.
 
“With the need for platelets so high, we cannot be closed two days in a row.  It would’ve created a big hole in the supply since platelets only last five days,” said Robert L. Travis, Blood Bank president and CEO. “I can only remember opening up donor schedules on a Sunday one other time in our history. It has been amazing to see these schedules fill up quickly with platelet donors who want to help.”
 
Platelet donations are collected using an automated machine that collects the donors’ platelets and returns the other blood components, such as red cells. Platelets are cells in the blood that control bleeding and often go to patients suffering from cancer or leukemia.
 
Many of the donors coming in on Sunday, Dec. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 2, are double and triple platelet donors, meaning their platelet count is high enough to give multiple therapeutic doses at one time.
 
To make it fun, all holiday platelet donors will be getting a long-sleeve T-shirt that says “I gave the ultimate gift this holiday season – the gift of life.” Plus, they will be entered into a raffle for prizes.
 
Donation schedules on both Sundays at the Christiana and Dover Donor Centers run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are nearly full. To make an appointment to give blood at any Blood Bank location, call 888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit www.delmarvablood.org.