Bloodworks Northwest has issued an urgent appeal for donors after collections began to dip sharply during the mounting heat wave. Donors who sign up to donate between Aug. 4-6 can get a free pint of Snoqualmie ice cream.
“With a record-breaking heat wave coming this week, we face serious shortages if people don’t come in to donate,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks. “Extremely hot weather can disrupt mobile drives in places without air conditioning. While all our centers and bloodmobiles have AC, some older buildings where mobile drives happen do not. If inside temperatures go over 80 degrees, mobile drives might need to end earlier than planned. Donor safety, comfort and well-being is always paramount.”
Snoqualmie Ice Cream has teamed up with Bloodworks to again offer free pints of ice cream to donors to help offset the impact of the heat wave. People who register at any Bloodworks center on Aug. 4-6 will receive a voucher for free a pint of ice cream. To learn more and register, visit: https://www.bloodworksnw.org/icecream.
High temperatures this week are expected to result in the loss of 500 collections. “We are already at the point where inventories of the most-needed blood types are at critical levels,” AuBuchon noted. “With more hot days forecast for the week ahead, we will face an emergency if donors do not come in and donate.”
Blood collections usually fall by 15-20 percent during summer — with schools and colleges on break and donors on vacation. But the need for blood is often higher in summer from patients undergoing surgeries, ERs treating trauma victims, people having cancer treatment and surgeons performing organ transplants. It takes about 800 donors a day to maintain a sufficient supply for the nearly 100 Northwest hospitals served by Bloodworks.
To avoid a crisis Bloodworks is asking donors who have not donated recently to schedule an appointment at one of its 12 centers. There is a special need for Type O blood and platelets, but all donors are welcome.
Donors can schedule an appointment at any donor center by going online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. People can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org to find dates and times of mobile drives close to where they live or work.
BloodworksNW joins other healthcare organizations in the region in urging everyone to keep well hydrated, use sunscreen and avoid strenuous activities during the heat of the days ahead.
There is a donation center in Lynnwood, located at 19723 Highway 99, Ste. F.