Snow takes toll on local blood supply

Bloodworks Northwest is urging the public to give blood or platelets in the wake of this week’s snowstorm, which led to a 30% decrease in donations.

Hundreds of donors scheduled to donate Tuesday and Wednesday were unable to make their appointments and several blood drives had to be cancelled due to weather conditions. Community members who can can safely travel safely are encouraged to schedule appointments to stock the shelves for patients in December.

All Bloodworks Northwest donor centers and many blood drives are open with same-day appointments available.

“Regardless of the weather, there is an ongoing need for blood to help cancer patients, victims of traumatic injuries, and many others who require transfusion support,” said Dr. Kirsten Alcorn, co-chief medical officer at Bloodworks Northwest. “Our Type O supply is 800 units below operational levels, leaving us with less than an emergency one-day supply of transfusable units.”

Here’s the impact the snow and ice is having on our local blood supply right now:

  • In the past 48 hours, over 600 appointments were canceled, rescheduled, or donors were unable to come in for their appointment. We expect this to increase as the wintery weather continues with additional snowfall and ice expected in some areas. 25% of our appointments for Thursday have already canceled or rescheduled.
  • There are more than 600 open appointments this week and 2,100 open appointments next week.
  • It takes 1,000 donors a day to support patients at Pacific Northwest hospitals.
  • Same-day appointments are available at Bloodworks Northwest donor centers and blood drives.
  • It’s critical for donors to make appointments to donate within the next 10 days
  • Appointments required at www.bloodworksnw.org or 800-398-7888

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 are required. Information about who can donate and where, is available at www.bloodworksnw.org. Donors can donate blood ten days after COVID symptons resolve, and COVID and Flu vaccinations do not affect your ability to donate blood.

All donors in December are eligible to enter to win donation perks like a VIP Grammy Award Experience or 75-inch big screen TV.

Appointments and information at BloodworksNW.org or 800-398-7888. See our list of Donor Centers and Blood Drives.

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