Bloodworks Says ‘Code Red’ As Puget Sound’s Blood Supply Diminishes


WASHINGTON – Washington is grappling with a severe shortage of donated blood, and a local blood bank warns the dwindling supply is already having an impact on the number of orders it can process for area hospitals.

Bloodworks Northwest said it declared another “code red” this month, with only a half-day of Type O and Type A supply on any given day.

“This is the most prolonged and severe blood shortage in recent years, with little indication of significant improvement,” said Vicki Finson, executive vice president of Bloodworks Northwest. “As a result, we could be hanging by a thread for months if our community doesn’t take action.”

Finson said Bloodworks was shipping blood to healthcare facilities as quickly as possible while advising hospitals in the Pacific Northwest to keep supplies. In addition to the recent harsh winter, Bloodworks said the record increase in COVID-19 cases has also reduced the number of donors able to help. As a result, the organization urges anyone in good health to consider making an appointment regardless of their blood type – and especially if they are Type O.

“At present, universal type O blood is extremely important, especially for trauma and emergency situations when the patient’s blood type is unknown,” Bloodworks officials said in a press release. “January is National Blood Donor Month, and with this blood shortage, it is nothing short of a national public health emergency. “

Bloodworks said hundreds of appointments were available over the next few days, and the next three weeks could prove vital to picking up much-needed supplies. Donors can donate blood on the same day they receive a COVID-19 vaccine or a booster, and officials said same-day appointments are available at most donation centers and pop-up clinics.

This week, the American Red Cross declared a national blood crisis, reporting a 34% drop in the number of new donors from 2021 and less than a day’s supply for critical blood groups across the States. United.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Northwestern Red Cross urged eligible donors to consider making an appointment as soon as possible, by visiting their website, using the app or calling 1-800- 733-2767.

Donors can make an appointment through Bloodworks Northwest on its website or by calling 1-800-398-7888. Pop-up blood drives are scheduled in western Washington, and appointments can also be made at one of the many donation centers, including Bellevue.

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