Northwest blood donation centers including the American Red Cross Northwest Region and Bloodworks Northwest are asking for help.
Bloodworks Northwest put out an urgent appeal on Tuesday for “Type O” blood, the most common type in the northwest.
Its supply plunged by 37 percent since the beginning of July. The organization is a thousand units below normal operating levels.
“Sadly, more people needed lifesaving trauma care recently, reminding us that the need for blood doesn’t take summer vacation,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks, “In the past 10 days we’ve had high patient needs, but 550 fewer donors than during the same period a year ago. Inventories of the most‐needed blood types and platelets are between critical and emergency levels – only a one or two day supply.”
The American Red Cross is also critically short on blood donations.
The Red Cross said that summer is always a challenging time for blood and platelet donations; with school out, and people traveling, donations drop. About 20% of the organization’s supply comes from blood drives at high schools and colleges.
“There is typically a shortage in the summertime because people get busy with vacations. They don’t make their appointments to donate blood as they normally might have in other times of the year,” said Patty Corvaia of the Red Cross.
Earlier this year both blood centers hit a shortage amid wintry weather and storms along the West Coast. Snow and icy roads forced 15 blood drives to be canceled recently, causing 450 donations to go uncollected.