Bloodworks Northwest officials report that blood supplies are not keeping pace with the needs of local hospitals, and they’re seeking Blood Donors.
Hospital requests are 120% of normal the last seven days, especially for type O blood, Bloodworks said. This increased need for lifesaving blood has placed pressure on the supply making the need for more donors urgent in October for Pacific Northwest hospitals that count on Bloodworks for even common procedures like surgeries.
“Hospitals are seeing an increase in traumas, transplants, and emergency situations requiring blood,” said Bloodworks President and CEO Curt Bailey. “Overall blood usage is up 20% which translates to an additional 600 units of blood needed each week. This is unsustainable unless more community members step up to fill these growing needs of our hospitals and those lives depending on them.”
It typically takes 1,000 people each day to make appointments to give blood at Bloodworks donor centers and unique pop-up blood drives happening throughout Western Washington and Oregon. This month, blood donors will learn if they have COVID-19 antibodies that may help patients currently fighting coronavirus. That’s because Bloodworks is testing all whole blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies through October 31 in conjunction with pandemic response efforts. A positive test result indicates if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) regardless of whether the person ever showed symptoms.
“As this high usage trend continues, our deficit increases with our most-needed Type O blood types fast approaching critically low levels,” said Vicki Finson, Executive Vice President of Blood Services. “Local hospitals are counting on all of us to meet their commitment to provide the best patient care possible. Whether you’re a first-time donor or longtime donor, please make an appointment now to keep our shelves stocked for patients.”
Donations with Bloodworks provide 95% of the lifesaving blood supply to Pacific Northwest hospitals. It takes about an hour to give blood from check-in to post-donation cookie. Appointments and masks required. In accordance with current social distancing guidelines, no walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted onsite. Bloodworks has posted information addressing questions and concerns for blood donors at bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus. Information about who can donate and where, is available at www.bloodworksnw.org.
About Bloodworks Northwest
Bloodworks Northwest is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients at hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled at bloodworksnw.org.