There is an urgent need for blood donations heading into Labor Day weekend. Bloodworks Northwest reports the local blood supply is running on fumes, as donations are down and patient needs for Type O blood and platelets are at their highest. All eligible donors are urged to make an appointment to donate in the days and weeks ahead.
“We’re operating on less than a single day supply of O Positive and O Negative blood – the types most needed in trauma situations,” said Dr. Kirsten Alcorn, co-chief medical officer of Bloodworks Northwest. “Hospitals are already having to conserve onsite supplies and we’re concerned the upcoming Labor Day weekend will further impact our ability to provide urgently-needed blood for emergencies at a time when trauma units around our region typically experience high patient usage. It’s vital the public prioritize donating blood to keep our community safe.”
It takes 1,000 donors a day of all blood types to maintain a safe and reliable blood supply for unexpected emergencies and continued medical care in our region. Only 40% of the donors needed have booked appointments, leaving a gap of 3,600 open appointments between now and Labor Day. Donating blood takes about an hour from check-in to post-donation cookie, and it is an hour well spent. Each donation is roughly one pint of blood and people needing transfusions often need multiple pints of blood. Those wishing to donate can encourage a friend to book an appointment with them, doubling the number of lives potentially saved.
Bloodworks has perks for people who donate this summer to help end the shortage. Donors can enter to win monthly music giveaways like a karaoke machine and Apple iPad mini or Airpods Max over-ear-headphones as part of Bloodworks Music’s In Our Blood Campaign. Donors who sign up to receive emails can receive gift card promotions.
Appointments and information can be found at BloodworksNW.org or 800-398-7888.