The recent holidays have taken their toll on the community’s blood supply, according to the Puget Sound Blood Center, which is calling for donations.
The organization, which supplies blood and blood products to most of Western Washington, said its blood suppply is at critically low levels.
In all, the holiday season has resulted in about 30 percent fewer donations than the non-profit organization typically needs.
“And local patients’ need for blood is constant, with no regard to holidays,” the agency said in a news statement released this week.
According to spokesman David Leitch, the effects of the holidays and vacations were steeper than usual because both Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Wednesdays, which is the blood bank’s largest collection day.
The supply of O negative and O positive blood has been hit especially hard, and there is less than a two-day supply, according to the agency.
Donors who are able to give blood products, such as platelets, plasma or double red cells through the process of apheresis are especially appreciated, the agency says. During that process, whole blood is taken from the donor and placed in a centrifuge which removes certain components of the blood. The remainder is then returned to the donor, Leitch said. He said the process takes longer than whole blood donation. Puget Sound Blood Center is asking willing donors to donate by Jan. 18.
To schedule an appointment online, call 1-800-398-7888 to make an appointment.