Blood donations drop due to school closures

Bloodworks Northwest requires 1,000 donations a day to maintain a stable blood supply

A blood shortage is impacting the region due to COVID-19.

Bloodworks Northwest collects about 60% of its blood supply from mobile drives. Schools alone make up 25% of mobile blood drives. Recent college and high school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the amount of blood donations.

During the first week of March, Bloodworks Northwest saw a significant drop in donations. As of March 17, there was a total loss of 3,300 donations.

Donors have continued to cancel appointments because of the coronavirus even though the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) stated there have been zero confirmed cases of transmitting respiratory viruses through blood transfusions.

“We expect even potentially more restrictions on where people are encouraged to go or not go,” said Bloodworks Northwest’s executive vice president Vicki Finson.

Current restrictions limit the opportunity for donations at mobile blood drives. So far, there have been 100 canceled mobile drives. On March 17, Bloodworks Northwest was in the planning stages to reschedule new drives-particularly at places where individuals are still going.

“What I’ve been impressed with is the community response over the past two weeks,” Finson said.

She went on to explain how individuals who have not donated in an extended period of time are now donating again. In addition, more first-time donors are showing up at blood donation centers. The average age of donors for March was 37.

According to Finson, the Pacific Northwest constantly needs blood donations regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic.

“People don’t donate frequently enough,” she said.

Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days, while platelets have a shelf life of 5 days. Blood is made up of both white blood cells and red blood cells. White blood cells help fight infections, while red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Platelets, on the other hand, help the blood clot.

One donation can save three adult lives.

Donations are used for (but not limited to) trauma patients, those undergoing cancer treatment, bleeding disorders and blood disease, surgeries and those with immune system conditions.

For more information about donor eligibility, go online to www.bloodworksnw.org/donate/eligibility.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

The COVID-19 outbreak closed schools statewide last spring and has led to many school districts opting for remote learning in the fall. Pictured: A Decatur High School staff member takes cover from the rain while celebrating the graduating class of 2020 in June. File photo
Study: Virus cases must drop for state’s schools to safely reopen

Bringing students back in any capacity will lead to new infections, the report found.

Restored locomotive makes debut in Snoqualmie

The Northwest Railway Museum’s Steam Locomotive 924 will make its first public… Continue reading

Alki Beach. Photo by Alabastro Photography
Heat wave is on the way this weekend

Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-90s on Sunday.

One survey conducted by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development found students who eat free breakfasts at school had 17.5 percent higher scores on math tests. File photo
SVSD distributes tens of thousands of extra meals amid pandemic

Congress hasn’t renewed the program, which provided twice as many student meals for free last spring.

Living Snoqualmie founder hired as North Bend PIO

Living Snoqualmie editor and writer Danna McCall has been hired by the… Continue reading

A photo of the carousel with horses. Contributed by North Bend Art and Industry
Historic carousel arrives in North Bend for planned Center for Art

The carousel will be the centerpiece for the planned regional arts center.

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Most Read