As Hurricane Florence approaches landfall, Bloodworks Northwest has sent an emergency shipment of 34 blood components to hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia to help these coastal areas prepare for the potentially devastating impact of the hurricane.
Bloodworks Northwest is concerned that a critically low inventory of type O blood and several other blood types and platelets will leave them hard-pressed to provide additional hurricane support if needed, let alone meet needs of the nearly 100 local hospitals that count on Bloodworks for even common procedures like surgeries.
“While our primary mission supports local patients, when catastrophes happen we do whatever we can to help, even when local supplies are as tight as they’ve been in recent weeks,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks. “It is our amazing donors who make it possible.”
Blood donors are urged to make an appointment now or in the coming days to meet demand. A blood type is considered critically low when it reaches a two-day supply, as opposed to a four-day supply. It takes 800 donor registrations every day to maintain an operational blood supply in the Northwest.
“Once our community returns to stable inventories, we will be prepared to assist with additional emergency blood shipments to help those affected by hurricanes or other disasters,” AuBuchon said. “The blood already collected and on the shelves allows us to respond to emergencies when they happen. We can be prepared if our generous donors step up like they did last year during Hurricane Harvey and Amtrak 501.”
Appointments can be made at centers and blood drives online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. More information at bloodworksnw.org.