At Bloodworks Northwest, which supplies 95% of the donated blood in Western Oregon and Washington as well as all of the blood donated in Clark County, blood donations are down by close to 50%.
Bloodworks Northwest’s community engagement liaison, Lauren Reagan, said the organization is requesting 1,000 donations per day at its 12 facilities in Washington and Oregon.
According to a press release, only 30% of the donors required for October have made appointments, necessitating the need for almost 14,000 additional gifts before October 31.
Campus visits are a crucial tactic that Bloodworks Northwest staff members hope will increase donations. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, mobile donation vans will visit high schools and colleges in Western Washington and Oregon this year.
In this academic year, according to Reagan, Bloodworks Northwest expects to sign up 10,000 new donors.
According to Reagan, 16 to 25-year-olds made up around 20% of blood donors through Bloodworks Northwest before the epidemic closed down schools and mobile blood collections.
So, she continued, “we have high hopes for these high school students to have a significant influence. Being in the “green zone” with enough donated blood on hand to cover needs for three days is the aim of Bloodworks Northwest. That necessitates a daily donation of 1,000.
Bloodworks Northwest transported an emergency supply of 30 units of blood to SunCoast Blood Centers in Florida last week in anticipation of a possible need in reaction to Hurricane Ian, despite the need for more donors.
The president and CEO of Bloodworks, Curt Bailey, stated in a press release: “While our Type O supplies are limited, this is a need to which we must react. Florida is in a very hazardous situation, and we must assist them as they would assist us in our time of need.
According to Reagan, type O negative blood is most frequently required in trauma situations because it is the blood type that is always used for emergency transfusions.
In order to help ensure there is a substantial blood supply after a mass-transfusion event involving multiple injuries, such as a school shooting, Bloodworks Northwest joined 30 other blood facilities nationwide to develop the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps in May, according to a press release.
In order to ensure that all members of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps have access to type O blood in the event of an emergency, Bloodworks Northwest has agreed to commit to rotating storing an additional 15 units of type O positive and type O negative blood.
It can be worrying not to have a surplus supply of blood in case of an emergency because the local blood donor pool is still small.
In a press release, Bailey stated that “our community is dangerously short of the platelets and Type O blood needed to supply local hospitals, placing strain on our ability to give transfusions for every cancer and surgery patient who needs them.” “We wouldn’t have enough blood on hand to help everyone who needs it if a large trauma incident occurred right now. Blood donations are essential to meet patients’ ongoing needs as well as unplanned crises.”
Reagan said that those who qualify can give blood every 56 days and are urged to do so as frequently as they are able.
She advises staying hydrated for the 24 hours prior to the donation, eating a high-sodium meal the night before, and eating a substantial meal two hours prior to the blood draw.
Reagan claims that the actual blood draw only takes around seven to ten minutes of the donation process’ hour-long duration. Visit www.redcross.org or dial (206)-323-2345 for additional details on where and how to donate blood.
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