Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Bloodworks Northwest braces for summer shortage

The Columbian
Published:

Bloodworks Northwest is bracing for a severe summer blood shortage that could limit local trauma centers’ access to blood, so anyone who donates between June 29 and July 11 will receive a $20 grocery gift card.

“Summer is always a challenging time for blood collection and now with the pandemic reducing donations, the supply is already at the point where inventories of the most-needed blood types are fast approaching critical and emergency levels — meaning a severe blood shortage is ahead of us without community action,” said Curt Bailey, Bloodworks Northwest president and CEO.

Blood centers throughout the country are reporting inventories falling to their lowest levels since the early stages of the pandemic as the nation’s hospitals resume elective surgeries, according to a Bloodworks press release.

There is no inherent risk of getting coronavirus from the donation procedure itself. Bloodworks follows health guidelines and is taking extra precautions to protect staff and donors, including requiring donation appointments, continuous sanitation, prohibiting guests, and asking donors to bring a mask or face covering to their donation.

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.

Vancouver has a pop-up donation center at 9320 N.E. Vancouver Mall Blvd., Suite 100. The center can be reached at 360-567-4800.

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