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As summer begins, Bloodworks Northwest appeals to donors to help offset projected blood shortage

 A blood donation in progress.
Nguyễn Hiệp
/
Unsplash.com
A blood donation in progress.

Blood donations across the U.S., including the Pacific Northwest, are at a critical low. Now one regional blood bank is urging donors to sign up en masse to help offset a projected shortage in July.

Mark Smith is the community engagement liaison for Bloodworks Northwest, based in Seattle. He told KLCC that with high school out for summer, they’re out about 20% of donations, and cancellations from people contracting COVID is also disrupting their donor drives.

 Bloodworks NW's projection shows a shortage of donors hitting in mid-July.
Bloodworks NW's projection shows a shortage of donors hitting in mid-July.

“Between now and July 4th, we have 1500 open appointments,” said Smith. “And we need a thousand appointments each day, just to keep up with the needs of our local hospitals. So what is that, we’re running at a 20% deficit of what we actually need on a regular basis.”

 Oregon State Police and emergency personnel respond to a fatal crash in Klamath County, July 2021.
OSP
Oregon State Police and emergency personnel respond to a fatal crash in Klamath County, July 2021.

Summer means increased travel and activity, which can lead to accidents requiring blood transfusions. Bloodworks Northwest says some reports indicate supplies are at a 10-year-low.

The non-profit organization is also reviving a promotional campaign with Lane County to help drive up low stock.

Bloodworks Northwest says if people donate before July 24th, they’ll get to participate in their “Pint for a Pass” promotion. Smith says it provides a free pass to the Lane County Fair for donors who meet that deadline.

 Lane County Fair fairgrounds.
Lane Events.
Lane County Fair fairgrounds.

“What we’re experiencing is about a 25-30% “no show” rate, so that neatly knocks down our fill-rate to 75-70%, assuming we had a full appointment schedule.

“So we have people who get distracted, they maybe forget about their appointment, so that is also hitting our collection capabilities.”

Donors can look up sites and times online at BloodworksNW.org.


Copyright 2022 KLCC. To see more, visit KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.