An emergency supply of 30 Type O units from Bloodworks Northwest donors was being shipped Monday to SunCoast Blood Centers in Florida in response to a request for help from the state, which is preparing for a powerful storm. As Hurricane Ian intensifies, shutting down blood collections, Bloodworks Northwest and its donors are helping Florida hospitals prepare for whatever impacts the weather may bring. Bloodworks Northwest is now asking local donors to help refill its Type O inventory — the blood type most needed in trauma situations — before more assistance can be offered.
“While our Type O supplies are tight, this is a need we must respond to,” said Bloodworks President and CEO Curt Bailey. “Florida is facing an extremely dangerous situation, and it’s critical we help them, just as they would help us in our own time of need.”
This shipment of O-positive blood is expected to arrive in Florida on Tuesday. Type O blood is the most critical blood type for supporting hospitals — so critical that a number of donation slots are reserved each day for donors with O-positive and O-negative blood types. Approximately 39% of the population has Type O-positive blood, and 9% has Type O-negative, the universal blood type.
It takes a thousand donors a day of all blood types to maintain a safe and reliable supply for unexpected emergencies and continued medical care in our region. Only 30% of the donors needed in October have booked appointments, leaving a gap of over 14,000 open appointments between now and Halloween. Donors in October play an important role in readying the blood supply for the busy holiday season.
Bloodworks recently added more appointment times at its donor centers and pop-up blood drives throughout the Pacific Northwest to make it even more convenient to give blood. New and repeat donors are urged to make their one-hour appointments now and do not need to know their blood type. Donors in October can enter to win prizes, like an Apple Macbook Air; those who sign up to receive emails can receive gift card promotions.
Appointments and more information are available at BloodworksNW.org or 800-398-7888.