A mobile center from Bloodworks Northwest takes blood from Enumclaw resident Andy Bremmeyer, pictured in this 2019 photo. Sound Publishing file photo

A mobile center from Bloodworks Northwest takes blood from Enumclaw resident Andy Bremmeyer, pictured in this 2019 photo. Sound Publishing file photo

Bloodworks Northwest reports drop in blood donations following coronavirus outbreak

The blood bank has lost 143 donations since March 1.

Bloodworks Northwest requires 1,000 individuals to donate per day to maintain a stable blood supply.

So far, Bloodworks Northwest has had 13 appointment cancellations directly due to coronavirus (COVID-19) fears, in addition to a total of 143 lost donations. Mobile blood banks have been canceled because of coronavirus planning sessions.

The amount of blood donations in China has already plummeted due to COVID-19, and Bloodworks officials fear the same might happen stateside. They have already seen a dip in donations in January following poor weather conditions.

“If it dipped to a serious level, then patients could be impacted and we’re doing everything we can to avoid that situation,” Vicki Finson, executive director of Bloodworks Northwest, said.

An increase in coronavirus cases will result in an increase in demand for blood, particularly if the rates of patients in intensive care units (ICU) increases. Finson explained that ICU patients have a suppression of bone marrow, which contains red blood cells (which transport oxygen throughout the body), white blood cells (which fight infection) and platelets (which help the blood to clot). This suppression would require blood or platelet transfusions during hospitalization.

Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days while platelets have a shelf life of five days.

“We have to draw every single day,” Finson said. “We really have no flexibility.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been zero reported cases of respiratory viruses that have been transmitted through blood transfusions. Bloodworks Northwest continues to closely monitor and follow both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA guidelines when it comes to donation precautions.

So far, there have been no additional screening measures for blood donations. Several of the screening questions already in place include whether an individual feels healthy and if they have recently traveled out of the country.

“Less than three percent of the U.S. population donates blood,” Finson said. “Our biggest fear is that we’re not going to have enough blood for people who need it.”

To learn more about donating visit www.bloodworksnw.org/donate.


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

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Snoqualmie Falls was shown frequently in Twin Peaks, as was the Salish Lodge & Spa resting on the cliff above the falls. File photo
News around the Valley: Trailheads, Chamber news, ‘Twin Peaks’

Trailhead Ambassador program launches From Trailhead Ambassadors The Trailhead Ambassador program will… Continue reading

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Centennial Well is tightly connected to the Snoqualmie River. North Bend is required to find two mitigation sources which can be tapped to replenish water in the river on days with low flows. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo
North Bend, Sallal could restart water negotiations

Representatives from both utilities have said they’re talking again.

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Fall City Fire Chief Chris Connor is retiring on Feb. 26, 2021 after 40 years with the department. Contributed photo
Fall City Fire Chief retires after four decades

Chief Chris Connor started with the department in February 1981.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A road closure due to flooding on SE Park Street, Snoqualmie, during the 2016 flood. File photo
Minor flooding possible along Snoqualmie, Tolt rivers

Both the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers reached minor flooding phases on Monday… Continue reading

Most Read