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Blood Supply Hits Emergency Level Due to Coronavirus Concerns Community Action Needed to Prevent Blood Supply Collapse

The Pacific Northwest’s blood supply is at risk of collapse in the coming days. 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. With exponentially decreasing opportunities for the public to donate, our community blood supply is in real danger. 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
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.”

“Without available blood, doctors will have to make life or death decisions about who receives blood
and who doesn’t,” added Vicki Finson, executive vice president of blood services. “We know that fears
of coronavirus are threatening our blood supply, but even scarier is the idea that we won’t have enough
blood for people who desperately need it. We need donors to keep their appointments and for blood
drive sponsors to keep hosting drives.”

Donating blood is a safe activity. Individuals are not at risk of contracting coronavirus through the blood
donation process. (Source: AABB) 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 doorknobs and light switches, and use hand sanitizer. Staff, donors,
and volunteers are encouraged to stay home if they feel unwell.

Routine blood donor screening methods that are already in place would be expected to reliably protect
the blood supply, and it’s important to note that there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus anywhere in the world. (Source: FDA)

It takes 1,000 people showing up to donate at a donor center or blood drive every day to keep our community’s blood supply at stable levels. 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 at
www.bloodworksnw.org.

Additional Resources:
For the latest information on COVID-19 please visit the CDC website and Washington State Department
of Health COVID-19 main page.

donate blood, pnw bloodworks, blood rive, bloodworks pnw

Bloodworks Donor Centers:

Appointments and information at BloodworksNW.org, 800-398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985 to
receive a link on your phone. Please check website for extended donor center hours.

Bellevue Center
1807 132nd Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98005
425-453-4011

Bellingham Center
410 W Bakerview Rd., Suite 117
Bellingham, WA 98226
360-671-8848

Central Seattle
921 Terry Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
206-292-6500

Everett Center
2703 Oakes Avenue
Everett, WA 98201
425-740-2909

Federal Way Center
1414 S 324TH Street, B101
Federal Way, WA 98003
253-945-8660

Lynnwood Center
19723 Highway 99, Suite F
Lynnwood, WA 98036
425-412-1000

Olympia Center
1220 Eastside Street SE
Olympia, WA 98501
360-596-3950

North Seattle Center
10357 Stone Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98133
206-526-1970

Silverdale Center
3230 NW Randall Way
Silverdale, WA 98383
360-308-7340

Tukwila Center
130 Andover Park E
Tukwila, WA 98188
206-241-6300

• Vancouver, WA Donor Center
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd, Suite100
Vancouver, WA 98662
360-567-4800

Lane Center
2211 Willamette St
Eugene, OR 97405
541-484-9111

About Bloodworks Northwest 

Bloodworks Northwest is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients at hospitals in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories, and research. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled on the Bloodworks App. For more information visit bloodworksnw.org.


The above is a press release from Bloodworks NW.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.

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