Blood donations drop due to school closures

Blood donations drop due to school closures

Bloodworks Northwest requires 1,000 donations a day to maintain a stable blood supply

A blood shortage is impacting the region due to COVID-19.

Bloodworks Northwest collects about 60% of its blood supply from mobile drives. Schools alone make up 25% of mobile blood drives. Recent college and high school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the amount of blood donations.

During the first week of March, Bloodworks Northwest saw a significant drop in donations. As of March 17, there was a total loss of 3,300 donations.

Donors have continued to cancel appointments because of the coronavirus even though the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) stated there have been zero confirmed cases of transmitting respiratory viruses through blood transfusions.

“We expect even potentially more restrictions on where people are encouraged to go or not go,” said Bloodworks Northwest’s executive vice president Vicki Finson.

Current restrictions limit the opportunity for donations at mobile blood drives. So far, there have been 100 canceled mobile drives. On March 17, Bloodworks Northwest was in the planning stages to reschedule new drives-particularly at places where individuals are still going.

“What I’ve been impressed with is the community response over the past two weeks,” Finson said.

She went on to explain how individuals who have not donated in an extended period of time are now donating again. In addition, more first-time donors are showing up at blood donation centers. The average age of donors for March was 37.

According to Finson, the Pacific Northwest constantly needs blood donations regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic.

“People don’t donate frequently enough,” she said.

Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days, while platelets have a shelf life of 5 days. Blood is made up of both white blood cells and red blood cells. White blood cells help fight infections, while red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Platelets, on the other hand, help the blood clot.

One donation can save three adult lives.

Donations are used for (but not limited to) trauma patients, those undergoing cancer treatment, bleeding disorders and blood disease, surgeries and those with immune system conditions.

For more information about donor eligibility, go online to www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/eligibility.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)
King County councilmember proposes program to aid transition of Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. overseas

Program would provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors.

Vaccinations taking place. File photo
Inslee: No ‘massive disruptions’ as worker vax rates hit 90%

A surge in vaccinations has eased concern about service slowdowns ahead of a Monday deadline.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Union members picket in front of new Facebook campus in Redmond on Sept. 16 (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Northwest Carpenters Union members vote to accept contract with AGC

The agreement comes after weeks of striking.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
After doubling down on “racist” flyer, Lambert publicly apologizes

Apology encouraged by King County Council colleagues.

Pixabay image
School psychologist among three charged with immoral communication with a minor

Redmond detectives conducted an online predator sting using fake profiles.

Courtesy of King County Police Officers Guild
Office lacks power over King County law enforcement in misconduct investigations

Director Tamer Abouzeid presents OLEO annual report to law and justice committee on Tuesday.

Photos of drug bust and Fury the K9 unit (courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office)
King County Sheriff’s Office confiscates over $1 million worth of deadly fentanyl during drug bust

With help from a search dog, officers found 97,000 fentanyl pills and eight pounds of heroin.

Most Read