Bloodworks Northwest urges donors to step up

Blood drives set in Port Angeles, Sequim

SEATTLE — Bloodworks Northwest has put out a call for blood donations, saying they are finding it difficult to keep pace with the needs of the hospitals it serves.

Hospitals’ requests were 120 percent of normal last week, especially for type O blood, said Curt Bailey, Bloodworks president and CEO, in a press release issued Friday.

“Hospitals are seeing an increase in traumas, transplants and emergency situations requiring blood,” Bailey said.

“Overall blood usage is up 20 percent which translates to an additional 600 units of blood needed each week,” he added.

“This is unsustainable unless more community members step up to fill these growing needs of our hospitals and those lives depending on them.”

Donations with Bloodworks provide 95 percent of the blood supply to Pacific Northwest hospitals, the agency said.

It typically takes 1,000 people each day to make appointments to give blood at Bloodworks donor centers and unique pop-up blood drives happening throughout Western Washington and Oregon.

Pop-up blood drives for all types of whole blood are planned at the Port Angeles Senior Center at 328 E. Seventh St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 26 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 28.

They are planned in Sequim from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 2 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Point Williams Road.

Appointments are needed. To make one, call 800-398-7888 or go to bloodworksnw.org/donate/find-mobile-blood-drive.

Face masks are required.

This month, blood donors will learn if they have COVID-19 antibodies that may help patients who are currently fighting the coronavirus.

That’s because Bloodworks is testing all whole blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies through Oct. 31 in conjunction with pandemic-response efforts.

A positive test result indicates if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) regardless of whether the person ever showed symptoms.

“As this high-usage trend continues, our deficit increases with our most-needed Type O blood types are fast approaching critically low levels,” said Vicki Finson, executive vice president of blood services.

It takes about an hour to give blood from check-in to post-donation cookie.

For more information, see bloodworksnw.org.

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