OCEAN CITY — The always important O.C. Cares Beach Blanket blood drive set for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 28-29, at the Convention Center in the resort is taking on a greater importance this week after last week’s snow storm and subsequent bitter cold temperatures left blood shortages across Delmarva at critical levels.
Last week, the Blood Bank of Delmarva lost 450 scheduled blood donation appointments across the Lower Shore, due largely to the snowstorm that blanketed the area Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning, followed by sub-zero temperatures through much of the weekend. For example, two schools and at least one corporation canceled scheduled blood donation drives last week, leaving the Blood Bank of Delmarva with just 50 donations last week.
The Blood Bank of Delmarva relies on around 350 donations each day to maintain an appropriate supply at facilities across the Eastern Shore, but with the weather-forced cancellations last week, the blood supply across the peninsula is now critically low, according to Suzanne Murray of the Blood Bank of Delmarva on Monday morning.
As a result, the already-planned O.C. Cares Beach Blanket Blood Drive scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center has taken on an even greater significance. Blood Bank of Delmarva officials are counting on the resort’s event to make up for the shortcomings of last week’s donations due to the weather.
“That is why we can’t afford to have any open appointments at the Ocean City Blood Drive,” said Murray on Monday.
Murray said as of Monday morning, there were still several appointments open on Tuesday after 1:30 p.m. until 3:50 p.m. There are also about 118 appointments open on Wednesday all throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. Of course, walk-ins are always welcome at the blood drive in Ocean City and with the current shortage, staffers will be more than accommodating. The O.C. Cares Beach Blanket Blood Drive is open each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-Blood8.
If the need to replenish the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s critical supply is not incentive enough, several local businesses have donated great door prizes to be given away during the two-day event in Ocean City. The big prize is a 42-inch flat screen television. Other prizes include $100 gift certificates to Fager’s Island, Fresco’s, the Clarion, Belly Busters, Montego Bay Hardware, a Pandora bracelet from Park Place Jewelers and a three-person glider from Rommel Home Center.