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'Immediate need' for Puget Sound blood donors, says Bloodworks Northwest

A major supplier to more than 90 Pacific Northwest hospitals reports says that it has less than a 24-hour supply of blood available for patients.

SEATTLE — Blood donations in western Washington and across the nation are down significantly, and executives for Bloodworks Northwest are calling for more donors.

“The immediate need is for community members to make an appointment to donate blood. We have less than a 24-hour supply of blood on the shelf for our local patients,” said Vicki Finson, the executive vice president of Blood Services for Bloodworks Northwest.

“Something has happened this April. We have extremely high usage, close to 20% over normal, and we’re seeing less people making appointments to donate blood,” Finson continued.

That translates to roughly 700 fewer donors a week compared to the same period in years past.

The organization said it normally collects about 900 units of blood each day, which are processed and delivered to 90 hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest.

One thing has changed because of COVID-19: appointments now are required. As for the COVID-19 vaccine, shot or no shot, it doesn't matter should you choose to donate.

“Being vaccinated, yes or no, does not play into blood donation. You don’t have to be vaccinated to donate,” Finson continued.

The organization has 11 locations in western Washington, including as far away as Bellingham and Vancouver, as well as a number of pop-up mobile blood drives.