Letter to the Editor, Capital Gazette, January 29, 2022

latina woman giving blood

Originally printed as a Letter to the Editor in the January 29, 2022 Capital Gazette:

Thank you to all who have donated blood

Thank you for the front-page article pointing out the current national blood crisis. We would like to make your readers aware that Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in the state of Maryland with its own blood donor center. While this donor center has a historical record of keeping LHAAMC nearly self-sufficient when it comes to supplying blood and blood products to our patients, we are not immune from the same crisis that is hitting the national blood supply.

Our concerns regarding diminishing blood inventory came to a crisis level on Jan. 28 after the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend. While our goal is to keep 100 units of group O-positive packed red blood cells in our inventory, we began the day with 20 units and hit an all-time low of 15 units by midday. The Red Cross was out of blood. Fortunately, we were able to borrow a few units from neighboring hospitals and when the urgent call for blood donors went out, our LHAAMC employees and community donors came to the rescue. The donor center phones rang off the hook with requests for donation appointments and by the next day we had 56 O-positive units on the shelf. We are continuing to struggle with maintaining adequate inventory to support surgical and medical blood transfusion requirements but are hanging in there with an inventory that is about 50% of our daily target but sufficient to meet daily needs. The only reason we are able to meet demand is the generous donation of blood, the gift of life, from our wonderful community of blood donors.

Thanks to all of you from the patients and staff of Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center. For those of you who have not given blood, now is a great time to do so. The blood you donate will remain in the community to serve the needs of our patients. The Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies task force statement reminds the public that: “Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the donation process or via a blood transfusion since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion.” Additionally, we’d like to help make it clear that people who have had COVID and are fully recovered can donate blood. Per the Food and Drug Administration guidelines, individuals are eligible to donate blood 10 days after complete resolution of symptoms. Our mission is to enhance the health of the people and communities we serve and we ask for help in this endeavor.

Our Blood Donor Center is located on the LHAAMC Campus located at 2003 Medical Pkwy., Wayson Pavilion, Suite 450, Annapolis, 21401. Call 443-481-4215 to schedule your next donation! We also have a blood mobile drive that can come to your next function, community, or church. Call 443-481-4215 to set up a mobile drive.



Sanford H. Robbins III, M.D., chief of pathology, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center

Megan Frisk, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center Blood Bank manager