Blood supply hits emergency level due to coronavirus concerns

The Pacific Northwest’s blood supply is at risk of collapse in coming days. That’s according to the latest news from Bloodworks Northwest.

The accelerating number of blood drive cancellations due to the closure of schools, businesses, and events over coronavirus concerns has put nearly 60% of the community’s blood supply in jeopardy, the organization says.  For the safety and care of current and future patients, Bloodworks is urging the community to step up to donate and spread word of the current need.

“It is our shared civic responsibility to get the word out that our community is under a grave threat,” said Curt Bailey, CEO and president of Bloodworks Northwest. “The cancellation of blood drives creates a serious public health concern since nearly 60% of our blood supply is collected at mobile blood drives. Without access to locations where the public can donate blood, we’re at a tipping point where children and adults experiencing trauma, those going through cancer treatment, and premature babies, among others, will not have blood available. Together, we can rise up to this challenge, but we must act now.”

Compounding the problem is the nationwide blood shortage due to the rapidly evolving Covid-19 (coronavirus) situation. Bloodworks confirmed they’re starting to receive assistance from blood centers across the U.S.

“Other blood centers are fully aware of the serious position we’re in and are offering help where they can,” said Bailey. “The shipments they’re sending us help, but won’t solve the problem. If the virus spreads, assistance from other parts of the country will be unlikely. We owe it to our community to each do our part locally to ensure a safe and reliable blood supply.”

Individuals are not at risk of contracting coronavirus through the blood donation process.  Bloodworks policies comply with FDA, CDC, local health departments, and other recommendations related to COVID-19. Bloodworks routinely sanitizes donation areas, chairs, surfaces and common objects like door knobs and light switches, and use hand sanitizer. Staff, donors, and volunteers are encouraged to stay home if they feel unwell.

Bloodworks has posted information addressing questions and concerns for blood donors at bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus. Blood donation takes about an hour from registration to post-donation refreshment.

Information about who can donate and where, is available atwww.bloodworksnw.org. The closest location is in Lynnwood at 19723 Highway 99, Suite F, Lynnwood. Call
425-412-1000 to learn more.

 

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