How to donate blood in Delaware for World Blood Donor Day (2024)

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information about World Blood Donor Day events.

Countries around the globe will celebrate World Blood Donor Day on Wednesday, and those in Delaware and the surrounding areas can participate by giving blood.

Someone in the United States needs blood or platelets every two seconds. But despite that constant demand, just 3% to 5% of the eligible donor population gives blood, according to Theresa Young, executive director of the American Red Cross Delmarva Chapter.

World Blood Donor Day aims to satisfy that need for blood by encouraging future, life-saving donations. It also celebrates past donors who have helped save lives.

“World Blood Donor Day is a special day in which we celebrate not only the donors who make selfless donations to help their neighbors, but also our amazing team, who make it all possible,” said Emily Cunningham, the Blood Bank of Delmarva vice president.

This year’s slogan for the campaign is “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often,” emphasizing the support of patients that need life-long transfusions, as well as promoting the need for a sustainable blood supply, according to the World Health Organization.

Where to donate in Delaware

How to donate blood in Delaware for World Blood Donor Day (1)

Interested donors can visit one of the donation centers across Delaware, including the new American Red Cross Wilmington Blood Donation Center, which opened in March. Those willing to donate to the Wilmington location can choose an appointment time and type of donation on the organization’s website.

There are also other locations with the Blood Bank of Delmarva and CSL plasma, as well as mobile drives across the state.

  • American Red Cross Blood Donation Center (Wilmington): 5329 Concord Pike, Brandywine Hundred, Delaware
  • Blood Bank of Delmarva (Newark): 100 Hygeia Drive, Stanton, Delaware
  • Blood Bank of Delmarva (Dover): 221 S. Saulsbury Road, Dover, Delaware
  • Blood Bank of Delmarva (Dagsboro): 32445 Crossing Shopping Centre, Royal Boulevard, Dagsboro, Delaware
  • CSL Plasma (Dover): 275 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, Delaware
  • CSL Plasma (Newark): 79 Marrows Road, Newark, Delaware

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Types of donations and eligibility

How to donate blood in Delaware for World Blood Donor Day (2)

There are four types of blood donations: whole blood, power red, platelet and plasma.

Donors can choose between whole blood, power red and platelet donations at the Wilmington American Red Cross location. The Blood Bank of Delmarva accepts all four types of donations, according to its website.

Whole blood is the most flexible and common type of donation, while power red donations provide a double unit of blood.

Platelets, on the other hand, are specific, tiny cells in blood that form clots and stop bleeding. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that helps maintain blood pressure and volume.

Specific eligibility requirements for each type of donation depend on state law. In Delaware, ages 17 and up can donate whole blood, with 16-year-olds being able to donate with written parental consent. However, the final eligibility determination is made at the time of donation.

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How to prepare for donation day

While giving blood, people can experience fatigue, bruising, bleeding, dizziness and lightheadedness, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To help prevent side effects, the American Red Cross recommends drinking an extra 16 ounces of water before the donation. It also suggests that donors be well-rested and eat iron-rich, non-fatty foods.

Donors must bring two valid forms of identification with them if donating to an American Red Cross location. An American Red Cross donor ID and a driver’s license with a photo are preferred. Other forms of acceptable identification include an employee ID with a photo or a passport.

To help with registration, Young encourages people to download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app.

What to expect on donation day

When donors arrive at an American Red Cross donor site, they will be asked a series of health questions and get their blood pressure, iron levels and temperatures taken to assure donation viability.

Before the blood draw, donors should let the nurse know if they have a preferred vein or one that has worked well in the past.

After the blood draw, donors should wait and eat a snack before leaving. The American Red Cross also recommends drinking four additional 8-ounce glasses of liquid and avoiding drinking alcohol for 24 hours after the donation.

Delaware's need for blood

How to donate blood in Delaware for World Blood Donor Day (3)

There is always a need for blood donations, but the summer months are an even more critical period. According to Young, “more often than not,” people are less available to give blood in the summer. In fact, she said there were 26,000 fewer blood donations than needed across the U.S. last month.

“If you have ever thought of a loved one in a hospital, or honestly anyone in a hospital, their number one need is for blood. What they're going through is so much more difficult than what we're asking for,” Young added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected blood donations, according to the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Before the pandemic, the Blood Bank of Delmarva received 6,000 annual donations from students at high schools and colleges. But post-pandemic, there has been less than half of these donations.

To help encourage people, anyone who donates blood with the American Cross in June will receive a $10 gift card to a vendor of their choice and be entered into a giveaway for a backyard screening package.

How to donate blood in Delaware for World Blood Donor Day (2024)


What questions do you have to answer to donate blood? ›

You'll answer a few questions about your health history and places you've traveled, during a private and confidential interview. You'll tell us about any prescription and/or over the counter medications that may be in your system. We'll check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.

How to donate blood in Delaware? ›

Do you need information about giving blood, or would you like to set up a blood drive? Information on blood drives, blood donation appointments as well as your personal blood donor account can be found on our Red Cross Blood website (click the link below). You may also call us 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

What to do on World Blood Donor Day? ›

National blood transfusion services
  • Disseminate information about the importance of giving blood.
  • Distribute campaign materials that you can download from the World Blood Donor Day campaign website.
  • Organize a virtual World Blood Donor Day celebration. ...
  • Improve the infrastructure for blood donation and blood donor care.

Why can't females donate platelets? ›

For women who have been pregnant, their platelet donations are tested for Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) antibodies. The presence of antibodies to Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) in the blood can cause an adverse reaction in patients receiving blood including lung injury and poor response to platelet transfusions.

What is the rarest blood type? ›

One of the world's rarest blood types is Rh-null. Fewer than 50 people in the world have this blood type. It's so rare that it's sometimes called “golden blood.”

What to do before donating blood for the first time? ›

How can I prepare?
  1. Sleep well: Try to arrive for your blood donation well-rested. ...
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. ...
  3. Eat healthy: Avoid foods high in fat, like fries or ice cream. ...
  4. Get your ID cards ready: Bring a form of identification, such as a driver's license or passport, to your donation appointment.
Sep 27, 2022

Is O+ a blood type? ›

In addition to the A and B antigens, there is a protein called the Rh factor, which can be either present (+) or absent (–), creating the 8 most common blood types (A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, AB-).

Can you drive after donating blood? ›

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING; sit or lie down until you feel better. If you happen to be driving, PULL OVER and park until all symptoms have resolved. Drink a few extra glasses of fluids over the next 24 hours. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

What do you eat when you donate blood? ›

If you don't have enough iron stored away prior to giving blood, you could become anemic, which can make you feel tired and weak. Iron-rich foods include red meat, eggs, poultry, fish and leafy green vegetables.

What is a catchy slogan for blood donation? ›

The gift of blood is the gift of life. Be a hero, donate blood, and give someone a chance to live. Become a superhero with a simple act of blood donation. Your one-hour commitment to blood donation can save up to three lives.

Can 0 donate to everyone? ›

O negative donors are often called 'universal donors' because anyone can receive the red blood cells from their donations. Although about 8% of the population has O negative blood, it accounts for around 13% of hospital requests for red blood cells.

What 4 things do they check before you donate blood? ›

To determine if you are eligible to donate we will:
  • Ask about your health and travel.
  • Ask about medicines you are taking or have taken.
  • Ask about your risk for infections that can be transmitted by blood—especially AIDS and viral hepatitis.
  • Take your blood pressure, temperature and pulse.

What to eat before giving blood? ›

Have iron-rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins.

What not to eat before donating blood? ›

Foods to Avoid Before Donating Blood
  • Fatty Foods. Fatty foods can increase the level of fat in the blood, making it harder for the body to absorb iron. ...
  • Alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate the body, making it harder for the body to replace the lost fluids during blood donation. ...
  • Iron Blocking Foods & Drinks. ...
  • Caffeine. ...
  • Aspirin.
Mar 23, 2023

What questions do they ask you before you give blood? ›

They'll ask you about:
  • Your health history.
  • Travel.
  • Medications you take.
  • Sexual activity (questions are about specific behaviors, not sexual orientation)
Aug 31, 2022

What do they check before you donate blood? ›

Prior to donating blood, all donors will receive a free health screening. At the time of your donation, your blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse will be checked. We record these vitals in your online donor profile where you can track and monitor your results.

What kind of questions do they ask when you donate plasma? ›

You must have a pre-donation physical which includes answering medical history questions, tests for viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis and evaluating your protein and hemoglobin levels. How do you get my plasma? Donating plasma is similar to giving blood.

What are common reasons why people can't donate blood? ›

Permanent Reasons People Can't Donate
  • Have ever had a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)
  • Are a hemophiliac.
  • Had viral hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
  • Had certain forms of cancer (contact us regarding medical eligibility at 800.688. 0900)


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