Local blood bank makes urgent appeal for donations

Blood supplies to local trauma centers running low

In an effort to increase blood supplies, Bloodworks Northwest has issued an urgent appeal to the public to donate blood.

Officials said they are bracing for low blood supplies this summer and really need donations, especially O positive and O negative blood types. They are required the most for emergencies at trauma centers across the Pacific Northwest.

A spokesman for the blood bank said the agency has less than a single day supply of O blood types on hand.

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“Making things worse, there is a nationwide shortage on group O, the universal blood type, which affects our ability to receive assistance from other parts of the country,” says Brian Danforth, Bloodworks Northwest senior customer engagement and business development executive.

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During Easter weekend donations were reportedly down as well.

Bloodworks officials said those who donate a pint by the end of April could win a fun perk.

Those perks range from a $500 Alaska Airlines voucher to a gas gift card and are being promoted in a campaign called Bold for Blood & Adventure.

Officials said platelet donations have been encouraging, but they are concerned about Memorial Day weekend, which impacts their ability to provide blood needed for emergencies when trauma centers typically experience high 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 health care in our community.”

To find locations of donor centers, drives and make appointments online, go to BloodworsNW.org or call 800-398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985 to download the Bloodworks App.

Donations are expected to take about an hour with the actual donation time being approximately 10 minutes.