Blood donations anemic

Nonprofit pleads for Port Angeles participation

PORT ANGELES — Twenty-five blood drive cancellations in King County make those coming up in Port Angeles even more important than usual, says the regional recruitment manager for Bloodworks Northwest.

“We’ve been drastically hit, especially with large employers asking employees to work from home” and thus cancelling blood drives, said Meg Hall on Friday.

Blood drives at a mobile unit are set at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St., on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday’s blood drive will be from noon to 6 p.m. with a break between 3 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Tuesday’s drive will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a break from noon to 1 p.m.

Bloodworks Northwest, based in Silverdale, provides blood products for more than 90 hospitals in Western Washington, including those in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

“We need to collect 1,000 units daily to make sure the hospitals have what they need,” Hall said.

The cancellations “have the potential to affect the blood supply,” she added.

In a press release, Dr. Kirsten Alcorn, Bloodworks medical director of blood services, said: “Bloodworks would like to reassure the community that its policies and procedures have been developed to assure compliance with FDA, CDC, and other applicable recommendations related to COVID-19.

“All of our processes have been developed to optimize the safety of the blood supply and donors. Routine blood donor screening methods would be expected to reliably protect the blood supply because we routinely ask about illness and travel.”

There have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus, and respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, Hall said.

Blood donation takes about an hour from registration to post-donation refreshment.

Appointments for the Port Angeles drives can be made at www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/find-mobile-blood- drive#results.

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