Bloodworks Northwest is urging eligible people to donate blood to offset a dip in inventory caused by summer vacations and deferrals of people who traveled to countries where the Zika virus is spreading.
Bloodworks Northwest has issued an urgent appeal for donors after local blood supplies dipped more than 20 percent with the start of summer vacations — and deferrals of people who traveled to countries where the Zika virus is spreading.
Overall inventory is down about 22 percent, and Bloodworks officials said they saw 700 donors a day last week instead of the 900 needed to maintain blood supplies.
That included about 20 people per day turned away from blood donation because they’d been in areas where Zika is spreading or had sexual contact with travelers, potentially infecting them with the virus that causes severe birth defects.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have issued guidelines calling for donors who have been to Zika-prone areas to wait a month before donating blood. The guidelines also apply to anyone with symptoms of Zika infection or those who’ve had sex with a person who has lived or traveled in Zika-prone places in the past three months.
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The dip in the blood inventory is about 10 percent worse than expected, officials with Bloodworks Northwest said.
There is a particular need for type O blood, both positive and negative, and for type AB plasma.
Donors can go to any of 12 centers or check online for community blood drives. For more information about donation, visit the website www.BloodworksNW.org.