Critical nationwide blood shortage manifests in PNW

Written by: Aubrey Laine Baker | Freelancer

According to the American Red Cross, a critical, nationwide blood shortage has the medical demands of hospitals quickly outpacing their supply of blood donations. Aside from a general decline in donors, the nation’s low blood supply is also in part due to the effects of Hurricane Idalia. The cancellation of more than 12 blood drives resulted in a loss of 30,000 blood donations.

Without a sufficient amount of blood donations, patients with cancer, trauma, sickle cell anemia, burns or chronic diseases may suffer from an increasing scarcity of life saving treatment options. Even organ transplant patients require blood from donors — resulting in a dearth of blood donations can also negatively affect the process and supplies of organ replacement procedures. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, but the deficit of platelet and type O blood donors is especially crucial to address. 

Beyond giving blood, there are also a multitude of volunteer opportunities to support the blood donation process and serve one’s community. 

Bloodworks Northwest, an independent, non-profit organization that provides blood supplies to 95% of hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, reports a blood shortage in the region that mirrors the deficit of the nation as a whole. Known previously as Puget Sound Blood Center, the organization has been a long standing, trusted cornerstone of healthcare in the region.

Information on their blood center locations, appointment scheduling and detailed blood donation FAQs can be accessed through the official website of Bloodworks Northwest. In an interview with KOIN Portland, Jacob Cole, the donor services supervisor of the organization, disclosed that a new blood center in Beaverton will have its grand opening on Nov. 17. 

To make an appointment for a donation through the American Red Cross, or for more information on blood, platelet or plasma donations and guidelines for donor requirements, visit the official website of the American Red Cross Blood Services. A blood donor app is also available to download and appointments can alternatively be made by calling the organization at 1-800-RED-CROSS. The American Red Cross provides assistance without discrimination to alleviate human suffering wholly through its network of volunteers, donors and partners.

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