January blood shortage worsens: 1,500 units short of meeting local patient needs

Flu, full hospitals, weather all playing havoc with supply

Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) issued an urgent appeal for healthy donors today as blood supplies remain at critical levels (less than one day supply) with the flu season, hospitals-at-capacity and weather all taking a heavy toll.

“Blood donations in the first two weeks of 2017 fell far below normal, with collections at 1,500 units below what patients need,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO. “With regular donors down with the flu or colds, we need others to step forward to help fill this emergency need.”

“All blood types are needed. If you are healthy and haven’t donated recently, or if you are a first time donor, we need you now,” he said.

A four day blood supply is normal. A one day supply means there is a risk that all patient needs cannot be met. Most donated blood is used for patients having surgery, cancer treatment or organ transplants.

“We’re doing our best to ensure that every patient who needs blood receives it, but we can’t do it alone” AuBuchon said. “We need more donors: they’re the ones who make lifesaving transfusions possible.”

The blood shortage in the Pacific Northwest is part of a nationwide trend, with centers across many regions reporting acute shortages. Bloodworks is the largest provider of blood in the Pacific Northwest, supporting more than 90 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Donors are urged to schedule an appointment as soon as possible at any one of Bloodworks’ 12 donor centers by going online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. People can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org. for donation criteria, and to find dates and times of mobile blood drives close to where they live or work.

Donor Centers:

Bellevue Center
1807 132nd Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98005

Bellingham Center
410 W Bakerview Rd., Suite 117
Bellingham, WA 98226

Central Seattle
921 Terry Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Everett Center
2703 Oakes Avenue
Everett, WA 98201

Federal Way Center
1414 S 324TH Street
Suite B101
Federal Way, WA 98003

Lynnwood Center
19723 Highway 99, Suite F
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Olympia Center
1220 Eastside Street SE
Olympia, WA 98501

North Seattle Center
10357 Stone Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98133

Silverdale Center
3230 NW Randall Way
Silverdale, WA 98383

Tukwila Center
130 Andover Park E
Tukwila, WA 98188

Vancouver, WA Donor Center
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd, Suite100
Vancouver, WA 98662

Lane Blood Center
2211 Willamette St
Eugene, OR 97405

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.