Monday, September 20, 2021
Sept. 20, 2021

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Heat wave worsens Northwest’s already low blood supply; donors urgently needed


Hospitals have been told to conserve blood as Seattle’s record-breaking heat wave deals a severe blow to the region’s already precarious blood supply, according to Bloodworks Northwest.

The regional blood bank on Monday reported supply has dropped to emergency levels as donations have dropped off sharply. In the past 24 hours, the supply has dropped 25% due to 200 appointment cancellations and mobile blood drives that were halted because of the heat.

“The available blood supply is not enough to get us through a rapidly worsening situation that is changing by the hour,” Bloodworks executive Vicki Finson said in a statement.

Bloodworks has advised hospitals to begin conserving blood because there may not be enough for all patients, according to Finson.

Blood supplies were already critically low in Washington, and nationwide, this summer as hospitals resumed operations postponed during the pandemic and demand for transfusions increased. Bloodworks anticipates demand for blood to rise as the Fourth of July weekend approaches.

Bloodworks said its 12 air-conditioned donation centers and some pop-up donation drives remain open.

“Our community needs everyone who is eligible to make an appointment and tell a friend about the urgent need for blood donations,” Finson said.