The critical blood shortage that started with the pandemic shows no signs of letting up, according to Bloodworks Northwest. The local nonprofit said the shortage has left it in dire straits.
Bloodworks said on Wednesday it had less than a full day’s supply for the Northwest, with most blood types at emergency levels.
Hospitals are canceling elective surgeries because of the shortage, said Bloodworks spokesperson John Yeager.
Beth Zborowski, a spokesperson for the Washington State Hospital Association, said most nonlifesaving surgeries have been postponed throughout the state for a variety of reasons.
A rush from people willing to donate blood made it hard to book appointments on Wednesday and Thursday, Yeager said. Donation times were booked out for at least a week.
He asked people to be patient and persistent, and to keep their appointments when they do make them.
Yeager said people who are having difficulty making appointments online can call the nonprofit’s contact center at 1-800-398-7888.
Blood will be needed just as much in a few weeks as it is now, he said.
Bloodworks accepts blood donations from both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, though donors should be symptom-free and feeling healthy, he said.
There is no waiting time required for people who just got vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Bloodworks.
People who have had COVID symptoms or tested positive in the past two weeks will need to delay making a donation, Bloodworks said.
Bloodworks Northwest’s COVID-19 safety protocols include social distancing, sanitizing and masks, he said. Bloodworks requires staff to be fully vaccinated.
To find out more about how to donate and where, visit bloodworksnw.org/donate.