Blood Supply At A “Critical Low”

PORTLAND, Ore. — The blood supply in our area is at a “critical low.” That’s according to Vicki Finson, Executive Vice President of Blood Services at Bloodworks Northwest.

She says despite the pandemic, people were still donating at a steady pace, which was helping to keep supplies going over the last year. That dropped off in April as the weather got better. She also says that many procedures which had been put off last year, were finally getting underway at that time. In fact, she says, “The last quarter that we just finished, actually was the second highest for blood transfusions in five years.” That activity has left them asking for donations of all blood types. Donations help with procedures, surgery, cancer and trauma patients.

Finson says many people never donate blood because they say they’re never asked, or they don’t believe they’re eligible. She says far more people are eligible than realize. You need to be at least 110 pounds, in generally good health, and at least 16 years old. (If under 18 you need a parent or guardian’s permission to donate in Oregon and Washington). Finson also says that if you want to donate, you don’t need to worry about your vaccination status; it doesn’t matter.

Bloodworks is still using COVID protocols, like requiring patients to make an appointment to donate, and having donors and staff wear masks and social distance. Those protocols allowed them to keep everyone safe during the last year, and they want to continue that.

To make a donation appointment, call 800-398-7888, or click here.

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