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Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) is asking people to schedule a blood donation during the next week, as chilly weather and flu-and-cold season dramatically reduce the blood supply in the region.
Patient need for blood is continuous, driven by the need for surgeries, organ transplants and cancer treatment. When inventories are low, Bloodworks NW can usually rely on other regions for help, but there is no extra supply right now to reply upon.
Inventories are now at critical levels. There is a possibility that surgeries could be cancelled if inventories do not get replenished.
“A normal dip in donations during the holidays is expected, but in the first 10 days of January we’re already down 800 units below what is needed,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO. “Regular donors are delaying coming in because of illness, while extreme winter weather and treacherous road conditions in southwest Washington and Oregon have hampered donors in those communities.”
Nationwide, severe winter weather and seasonal viruses are causing acute shortages at many blood centers. Today, about 20 percent of US blood centers (1 in 5) are reporting emergency blood inventories: a one day or less supply of common blood types. On average, only 1 center in 20 is experiencing supply challenges at this level. Normal inventory is a 4-day supply.
“Sometimes when local supplies dip, we can reach out to other regions for short term help. But there is no extra supply out there right now,” AuBuchon said.
Type-O donors (positive and negative) are especially needed, but all types are welcome.
Donors are urged to schedule an appointment this week 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 for dates and times of community blood drives close to where they live or work -- by going to bloodworksnw.org.
Patient need for blood is continuous, driven by the need for surgeries, organ transplants and cancer treatment. Bloodworks supports more than 90 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Vancouver, WA Donor Center
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd, Suite100
Vancouver, WA 98662
Lane Blood Center
2211 Willamette St
Eugene, OR 97405
Peacehealth SW Medical Center
400 NE Mother Joseph Place
11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Battle Ground, WA:
1201 SW 13th Avenue
12:00 - 6:00 PM
Whole Foods – Hollywood
4301 NE Sandy Blvd
12:00 - 6:00 PM
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.