Two organizations that provide blood supply to hospitals are urging eligible donors to give blood to address critical shortages of two blood types.
The American Red Cross needs at least 11,500 more type-O blood donations than it currently has to sustain a sufficient blood supply, according to the organization. Six units of the blood type are currently available for every 100,000 people each day, but at least 14 units are needed.
Type O-negative blood can be transfused to any patient, so it’s often used when hospital staff don’t know a patient’s blood type. Type O-positive blood is the type used most often in transfusions, according to the Red Cross.
In the Seattle area, Bloodworks Northwest is facing a shortage of B-negative blood to give to the 90 Pacific Northwest hospitals it serves, said Brian Danforth, Bloodworks’ senior customer engagement and business development executive.
When there is a shortage of one blood type, it depletes the supply of O-negative blood, Danforth added.
“If we don’t have B-negatives, we have to issue (O-negative blood), which we don’t like to do,” he said. “We would like to have B-negative donors.”
Both the Red Cross and Bloodworks are offering incentives to bring in more donations. At the Red Cross, all donors who give blood or platelets, regardless of blood type, through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. At Bloodworks, donors who book an appointment through a mobile app from May 18 to June 2 will be entered in a drawing to win Apple AirPods. Donors can schedule an appointment by texting the words “blood app” to 91985, which will take them to the app.
The Red Cross has the following upcoming local blood drives:
- June 4: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2100 Boyer Ave. E., Seattle.
- June 5-6: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
- June 7: Hyde Square Apartments, 2030 155th Place N.E., Bellevue.
Donors can schedule an appointment online at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Bloodworks Northwest donors can make an appointment at BloodworksNW.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888.
Seattle-area donation centers:
- Central Seattle: 921 Terry Ave.
- North Seattle: 10357 Stone Ave. N.
- Bellevue: 1807 132nd Ave. N.E.
- Federal Way: 1414 S. 324th St. Suite B101
- Lynnwood: 19723 Highway 99, Suite F
- Tukwila: 130 Andover Park E.