Blog of Bloodworks Northwest

Bloodworks is Community Ready for Anything, 24/7/365

What does “community readiness” look like for our community’s blood supply?

  • Community Ready means at least 1,000 blood donations a day to make sure everyone who needs blood can get it;
  • Community Ready means donors go to their donation appointments and make their next one before going home.
  • Community Ready means we all, together, face any disaster or tragedy armed with a supply that’s ready for anything.
  • Community Ready means blood donation becomes a habit, a purpose, a way of life, a way to say thank you to strangers you don’t even know, a way to share humanity, a way to spread love, a way – most of all – to give hope.

For our local blood supply, the summer season is no vacation. Right now, the number of blood units available for transfusion barely meets our community’s need, leading to a potential situation where a mass-casualty event like a shooting or natural disaster would devastate the supply and some people needing blood would have to go without.

Or, as Bloodworks Executive Vice President of Blood Services Vicki Finson said in this podcast episode:

“Emergencies can happen 24/7/365, and with the help of the community, the blood center needs to be prepared for whatever happens. It could be something large like a mass shooting, a train derailment, an earthquake or a very large, multiple vehicle accident, or it could be a combination of small things that add up to a day where there’s a lot of blood usage. We’re always trying to be prepared for that as best we can.”

“What happens in the worst case scenario and there is something like an Orlando or a Las Vegas and there just isn’t enough blood on hand?” asked producer Bill Harper.

“If something happened and it was really large and there wasn’t the available blood already on the shelf donated at least three of five days ago, people would die.”

There is often a big surge in blood donations following tragic events like the lines out the door we saw at our Olympia Donor Center after the Amtrak 501 crash in 2017, but it’s the donations made in the days before the tragedy that save lives on the day they happen.

Community Ready means people donate every 56 days to make sure their blood is ready for whoever needs it, whether they’re a heart transplant patient, an accident victim, or one-year-old baby just one transfusion away from their hard-fought remission. Community Ready means we get through anything, together.

With Bloodworks’ upcoming summer Blood Emergency Readiness Corps rotations, we could be called upon to transport 15 units of O- and O+ blood to the site of any disaster in the U.S. The PNW needs to be more Community Ready than ever. Make your summer blood donation appointment now to help make sure we’re ready for anything.

July 8, 2022 2:23PM

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