UW Med: Risky scenario for hospitals amid blood shortage

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

John Rider Hess, MD Harborview Medical Center
Healthcare workers working to keep up with the ongoing surge of the omicron variant at full hospitals are juggling another type of emergency: an unprecedented blood shortage

“We have moved to crisis standards. There are places that cannot meet their normal requirements,” said UW Medicine's Dr. John Hess, the medical director for Harborview Medical Center’s blood transfusion service.

Harborview Medical Center, the only Level I trauma center for the region, currently has enough blood supply to treat patients in need of transfusions.

However, a mass casualty event (such as multiple gunshot wound victims or a severe collision) could use up the supply without the certainty of reinforcements.

“Being down even a little bit begins to represent a potential threat to the system,” said Hess.

Hess explains that blood establishments, which lead blood donation efforts and distribute blood to hospitals across the state, are especially feeling the pinch of the shortage.

“Normally they would try to have three days’ supply. Today, that supply is less than one day. And so, they are allocating it out to the various small hospitals because everybody's down a little bit,” said Hess.

If you are able to donate blood, find an appointment through NW Bloodworks.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP