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Bloodworks Northwest declares Code Red emergency blood shortage


Last updated 1/19/2023 at 9:57am

Bloodworks NW

Facing a severe blood shortage, Bloodworks Northwest is issuing a "Code Red" emergency asking everyone who is eligible and feeling healthy to fill immediate appointments to give blood.

Donations dropped significantly due to winter weather and the holiday season. Hospitals are advised to conserve the limited onsite supplies to maintain a supply for emergencies, especially Type O blood and platelets. A Code Red is declared after four consecutive days of emergency levels. Donors in Western Washington and Oregon must respond to this emergency by booking and keeping appointments to donate every 56 days.

"A Code Red means we're running out of blood fast. Our community must act quickly to stabilize the blood supply and ensure patients experiencing cancer can receive transfusions, surgeries aren't delayed, and our trauma centers can respond to emergencies."

Bloodworks Northwest Executive Vice President of Blood Services Vicki Finson said, "If you've been putting off donating blood, now is the time to make an appointment."

Same-day blood donation appointments are available at most locations, and appointments in the next three weeks are just as vital. Right now, universal Type O blood is extremely important, especially for trauma and emergency situations when the patient's blood type is unknown. January is National Blood Donor Month, and with this blood shortage that is nothing short of a public health emergency, the importance of blood donors is keenly felt.


• Over 6,300 open appointments left to be filled in the coming days.

• Showing up for the donation appointment is just as important as making it. People not showing up to appointments impacts the ability to collect enough blood. For assistance finding an appointment or to reschedule, call 800-398-7888.

• All regions of the U.S. are currently experiencing a shortage, so assistance from other centers is uncertain or minimal.

• Responding to emergencies requires blood that is already collected, tested, on the shelves, and ready for immediate use by first responders and medical staff.

• 39% of the population has O+ blood, and only 9% of the population has O- blood. You do not need to know your blood type to become a blood donor.

For more information: www. bloodworksnw.org.


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