Summer is traditionally difficult for the regional blood supply, made worse this year by a severe national blood shortage.
Here’s more info from Bloodworks Northwest:
Although we are nearing the end of the season, we still have the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend approaching, bringing a greater potential of accidents and injuries requiring blood transfusions as people travel and head outdoors to enjoy the weather. Bloodworks is calling on anyone eligible to donate through Labor Day to make an appointment at our Donor Centers or Pop-Up Blood Drives to give blood. A safe and reliable blood supply for our community represents a three-to-four-day supply that must be ready for transfusion when illness or accidents strike.
“The next few weeks are a critical period to rebuild our blood supply so we can provide lifesaving transfusions to patients,” said Dr. Kirsten Alcorn, Bloodworks co-Chief Medical Officer. “We’ve been managing the blood supply shortage on a day-to-day basis since April through remarkably high hospital use of red blood cells and platelets. The need for Type O blood, the universal blood type, has hit the inventory especially hard, and donations are urgently needed.”
No matter the time of year, the need for blood remains constant. It takes 1,000 people of all blood types registering to give blood daily to meet local needs. Appointments across our region are slipping as donors busy with summer activities and vacations are not making their regular visits. In pre-COVID times, our supply would be able to recover from a crisis within a week from a strong response from our community. With reduced capacity due to social distancing, it will take weeks for our supply to recover.
“Donating blood takes about an hour, but it is an hour well spent,” said Vicki Finson, Bloodworks Executive V.P. of Blood Services. “Blood donations not only help those who have suffered trauma, but they also help those with cancer, surgery patients, premature babies, and others who cannot live without the support of blood donors. Scheduling your donation before or on Labor Day will prepare us to respond to any emergency in our community.”
Bloodworks Donor Centers and Pop-Up Blood Drives:
Appointments and information at BloodworksNW.org or 800-398-7888. All 12 Bloodworks Donor Centers will be open Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2021. See our list of Donor Centers and Pop-Up blood drive locations this month, including Museum of Flight, Seattle Opera, West Seattle, Kent Station, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Puyallup, Sammamish, Edmonds, Bainbridge Island, Shelton, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Chehalis, Battle Ground, Portland, Florence, Eugene, Springfield, Tualatin
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.