The Puget Sound Blood Center reminds people that it needs people to donate blood during the holidays to help keep up supplies.
“When schools are out and holiday activities are at their peak, the number of blood donors falls by at least 25 percent,” said David Leitch, director of donor and volunteer resources for Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC). “With supplies already low for some blood types, the risk of a supply crisis looms over the holidays.”
In recent weeks there has been an acute shortage of platelets and O-negative red cells – the blood type that can be given to patients with any other blood type. Although supplies of these components are especially low, PSBC is welcoming donors of all blood types through Jan. 5 to maintain a strong supply for patients in need throughout the holiday season. Another reason the need is especially high this year: both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Thursdays, typically one of the highest collection days of the week.
“The holiday season is a time of giving, and we are hoping that people – from frequent donors to first timers — help us to meet the need,” Leitch said. “We’re asking people to schedule just one hour to save lives by donating blood between now and January 5.”
PSBC needs to collect about 900 donations every weekday to ensure a stable supply of blood components for nearly 90 hospitals it serves in the Pacific Northwest. The demand for blood components is continuous: patients in hospitals are still undergoing surgeries, ERs are treating traumatic injuries, people are receiving treatments for cancer, and surgeons are performing organ transplants – all depending on the blood supply to be there.
Donors are welcome at any one of 12 donor centers, including Lynnwood (Lynnwood Center, 19723 Highway 99, Suite F, Lynnwood, 425-774-6366). Information about locations and times can be found at psbc.org. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made online at schedule.psbc.org or by phone by calling 1-800-398-7888.
To make donating blood as convenient as possible through New Year’s, PSBC will be open through extended operating hours according to a revised schedule.