SEATTLE — As high school, college, business, and event closures unfold across the Pacific Northwest, Bloodworks Northwest officials issued a stark warning about the impact on blood drives in the community. Approximately 60% of the blood supply is collected at mobile drives, of which schools make up 25%. School closures add new stress to a community blood supply already in peril.
“Inventories are holding steady now thanks to the faithful donors—and an important record number of first-time donors—who recognized the urgent community need for donations,” said Curt Bailey, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest.
Unfortunately, donations will likely fall in the days ahead. Bloodworks Northwest is joined by the CDC, FDA, Washington State Department of Public Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health, and King County Public Health, among others, in urging the community to make an appointment to donate. Bloodworks Northwest is also directing local business and community leaders to include blood donation in their organizations’ emergency preparedness.
Vicki Finson, executive vice president of blood services, said, “To date, cancelled blood drives already translate into 2,500 lost donations. Widespread school closures mean an additional 3,200 missed donations loom ahead. That means the equivalent of almost six days of community blood supply needed for cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies, or to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients, among others.”
Bloodworks has posted information addressing questions and concerns for blood donors at bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus.
Appointments and information can be found at BloodworksNW.org or by phone at 800-398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985 to receive a link on your phone.