Type O blood supply drops sharply; donors needed

  • Friday, July 14, 2017 3:36pm
  • News

Bloodworks Northwest issued an urgent appeal for donors after the community supply for Type O blood – the most common blood type among people in the Northwest – plunged by 37 percent since the beginning of July, and now stands at 1,000 units below normal operating levels.

“Sadly, more people needed lifesaving trauma care recently, reminding us that the need for blood doesn’t take summer vacation,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks, “In the past 10 days we’ve had high patient needs, but 550 fewer donors than during the same period a year ago. Inventories of the most-needed blood types and platelets are between critical and emergency levels – only a one or two day supply.”

The need for blood is continuous for patients having surgeries, trauma care, organ transplants and cancer treatment. About 45 percent of people in the Northwest have Type O blood.

Bloodworks welcomes donors at 12 centers and conducts up to 100 mobile drives per week across the Northwest. It takes about 800 donors a day to maintain a sufficient supply for more than 90 hospitals served in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Noting that “good things come in pints,” Snoqualmie Ice Cream has teamed up with Bloodworks to offer 5,000 pints of ice cream to donors to help address the summer shortage. People who register at any Bloodworks donor center to give July 10-16 will receive a free voucher for a pint of ice cream. To learn more and register visit bloodworksnw.org.

Donors can schedule an appointment at any donor center by going online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. People can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org to find dates and times of mobile drives close to where they live or work.

While there is a special need for Type O blood, Type B-Negative and platelets, all donors are welcome.

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