Bloodworks Northwest reassures community it is safe to donate blood

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Recognizing that donors may have questions and concerns in light of the state of emergency declared in Washington State following the death of a patient infected with COVID-19, Bloodworks Northwest reassures the community that it is safe to donate blood, and donations are continuously needed. 

“We’re actively monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and maintaining communication with local health departments,” said Bloodworks President and CEO Curt Bailey. 
“Our primary focus is providing a safe and reliable blood supply to our hospital partners across the Northwest, and that’s only possible by making opportunities to donate blood available at our donor centers, area businesses, churches, and schools, and seeing our community continue to turn out for local patients.”

It takes 1,000 people showing up to donate at a donor center or blood drive every day to keep the community’s blood supply at stable levels. 

Blood donations not only help those who have suffered trauma, they also help those with cancer and blood disorders, surgery patients, premature babies, and others who cannot live without the support of volunteer blood donors.

Bloodworks officials are concerned that as fears of coronavirus heighten, low donor participation will harm the blood supply.

"We can’t allow what’s happening to blood inventories in other countries affected by COVID-19, where they’re seeing sharp declines in donation, to happen here,” said Curt Bailey. 
“Our community strives to maintain a four-day supply of blood. A sudden drop in the blood supply will have consequences and put surgeries and patients at risk. If you’re healthy and haven’t donated recently – or you’re a first time donor – please make an appointment this week and plan to be a regular donor so the blood supply is always strong.”

According to Bloodworks Medical Director of Blood Services Dr. Kirsten Alcorn,

“Bloodworks would like to reassure the community that its policies and procedures have been developed to assure compliance with FDA, CDC, and other applicable recommendations related to COVID-19.” 
“All of our processes have been developed to optimize the safety of the blood supply and donors. Routine blood donor screening methods would be expected to reliably protect the blood supply because we routinely ask about illness and travel.” 

“We want our community to know that we are addressing their questions and concerns about blood donation and blood safety using the most up-to-date information available,” continued Dr. Alcorn. “We’ll continue to make updates as we learn about the outbreak.”

There have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus; and respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion. (Source: FDA)

Blood donation takes about an hour from registration to post-donation refreshment. Information about who can donate and where, is available at www.bloodworksnw.org.

Bloodworks Donor Centers:
  • Appointments and information at BloodworksNW.org, 800-398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985 to receive a link on your phone.
  • North Seattle Center 10357 Stone Avenue N Seattle, WA 98133 206-526-1970
  • Lynnwood Center 19723 Highway 99, Suite F Lynnwood, WA 98036 425-412-1000
  • Local blood drives are held at intervals by the Richmond Beach Community Association, the City of Shoreline, the City of Lake Forest Park, and the Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church.

Bloodworks Northwest is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based.



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