News

Date:      25 June 2015

For immediate release

Contacts:      David Larsen | 206-689-6358 | DavidLa@blooodworksnw.org
Kelly Gehringer | 206-452-8178 | KellyG@greenrubino.com


Heat Wave Triggering Blood Shortage
High temperatures, summer vacations reduce community blood supply

Seattle, WA – Bloodworks Northwest has issued an urgent appeal for donors today after collections began to dip sharply as a result of the mounting heat wave and reduced collections caused by summer vacations.

“Even though summer just started, we’re already at the point where inventories of the most-needed blood types are approaching critical level – meaning we have only a two or three day supply,” said Clint Kendrick, senior director of collections and recruitment. “With record-breaking heat forecast over the next two weeks, we face serious shortages if donors do not come in to donate.”

Blood collections usually go down by about 15-20 percent during summer with schools and colleges on break and donors on vacation. “But extremely hot weather disrupts our mobile drives at locations without climate-control—because we suspend collections when temperatures go over 80 degrees to ensure the comfort and well-being of donors,” Kendrick said. “All our donor centers are air conditioned, but attendance still falls off as people stay home to avoid the heat.”

The need for blood is often higher in summer from patients undergoing surgeries, ERs treating traumatic injuries, people receiving cancer treatment and surgeons performing organ transplants. It takes about 900 donors per day to maintain a sufficient blood supply for the 90 Northwest hospitals served by BloodworksNW.

“To avoid a crisis we’re asking donors who have not donated recently to schedule an appointment at one of our 12 centers, or to find a mobile drive in their community close to where they live or work,” Kendrick said. First-time donors are certainly welcome. There is a special need for O-positive, O-negative and A-negative blood types.”

Information about locations and times can be found at bloodworksnw.org. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888.  

“Stay cool, support your community blood supply and enjoy a cookie and cold juice afterwards,” Kendrick urged. “That will get us through this supply shortage caused by the record heat wave.”

BloodworksNW joins other healthcare organizations in the region in urging everyone to keep well hydrated, use sunscreen and avoid strenuous activities during the heat of the days ahead.

Web   We encourage media to place our Web site link on your site. Our site www.bloodworksnw.org, contains everything a potential donor needs to know about blood donation and other information about us.
Logo: High resolution Bloodworks Northwest logo is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pugetsoundbloodcenter/16226422128/

Images: High-resolution photos are available for editorial use by news media here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pugetsoundbloodcenter/sets/72157638296627446/

Donation center locations:


About BloodworksNW Formerly Puget Sound Blood Center, BloodworksNW has70 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. We are local, non-profit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, BloodworksNW serves patients in 90 hospitals in the 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, registration for the National Marrow Donor Program, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. We’re one of a few blood centers in the U.S. doing leading edge research on blood biology, transfusion, thrombosis and 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. For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org.