Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) issued an urgent appeal for healthy donors on Tuesday, Jan. 17, as blood supplies remain at critical levels (less than one day supply) with the flu season, hospitals-at-capacity and weather all taking a heavy toll.
“Blood donations in the first two weeks of 2017 fell far below normal, with collections at 1,500 units below what patients need,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO. “With regular donors down with the flu or colds, we need others to step forward to help fill this emergency need.”
“All blood types are needed. If you are healthy and haven’t donated recently, or if you are a first time donor, we need you now,” he said.
A four day blood supply is normal. A one day supply means there is a risk that all patient needs cannot be met. Most donated blood is used for patients having surgery, cancer treatment or organ transplants.
“We’re doing our best to ensure that every patient who needs blood receives it, but we can’t do it alone” AuBuchon said. “We need more donors: they’re the ones who make lifesaving transfusions possible.”
The blood shortage in the Pacific Northwest is part of a nationwide trend, with centers across many regions reporting acute shortages. Bloodworks is the largest provider of blood in the Pacific Northwest, supporting more than 90 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Donors are urged to schedule an appointment as soon as possible at any one of Bloodworks’ 12 donor centers by going online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. People can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org. for donation criteria, and to find dates and times of mobile blood drives close to where they live or work.
Donor Centers (the nearest to Des Moines is located in Tukwila):
Bloodworks (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) is backed by 70 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 in more than 90 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. For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org.