Blood supply to local trauma centers running on fumes

Bloodworks Northwest issuing urgent appeal for donors after inventories dipped sharply

VANCOUVER — Running out of gas is inconvenient. Running out of blood is deadly. Bloodworks Northwest is bracing for low blood supplies this summer so they’re ramping up their appeal for blood donations, especially Type O blood types.

Bloodworks is at less than a single day supply of O Positive and O Negative because those two types are required most for emergencies in trauma centers across the Pacific Northwest.  

“Making things worse, there is a nationwide shortage on group O, the universal blood type, which effects our ability to receive assistance from other parts of the country,” says Brian Danforth, Bloodworks Northwest Senior Customer Engagement and Business Development executive. “Compounding the problem is the fact that Easter weekend donations were down as well.”  

Bloodworks has fun perks for people who donate a pint by April 30 to help end the shortage. Donors who give before the end of the month will be entered to win travel prizes like $500 Alaska Airlines vouchers, $100 REI and gas gift cards. The campaign is called Bold for Blood & Adventure. So far, response has been encouraging, but Bloodworks officials are concerned that the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will impact their ability to provide urgently-needed blood for emergencies at a time when the trauma units around our region typically experience high patient usage.   

“We’re urging folks to make an appointment as soon as possible to pump up the community, if you will, and help restore our inventories to normal levels,” says Danforth. “A strong blood supply is critical to healthcare in our community.”

Donors can find locations of donor centers and drives or make appointments online at BloodworksNW.org, by calling (800) 398-7888, or by texting bloodapp to 91985 to download the Bloodworks App.  Blood donation takes about an hour and each donation can help up to three people in the Pacific Northwest. The actual donation time is only about 10 minutes. Most people in good health are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood.

Bloodworks Donor Centers

Appointments and information available at BloodworksNW.org, (800) 398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985 to receive a link on your phone. Check BloodworksNW.org for latest hours.

  • Vancouver, WA Donor Center 9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd, Suite 100 Vancouver, WA 98662 (360) 567-4800
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