News

Area blood supply nothing to sniff at

By PAT JENKINS

Editor

Sniffles and other comparatively minor maladies are causing potentially life-saving blood stocks to dry up.

Officials at Cascade Regional Blood Services, which supplies St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way and other South Sound hospitals, said the agency’s lack of donations is “critical.” Would-be donors are staying away because of allergies, flu and colds. The result is an inventory equal to less than half a day of what hospitals need for transfusions during surgeries or emergencies.

“We’re having another difficult week,” said Cascade spokeswoman Kelley Caldwell.

Donors with any blood type would be a welcome sight “as soon as possible” at Cascade’s donation centers in Federal Way, Tacoma and Puyallup, officials said. They’re open Monday through Saturday.

Dan Schmitt, director of donor resources, said Cascade is trying to meet an “unusually high,” ongoing demand from hospitals.

“Hospitals are in great need right now, and we encourage any donor who has waited to donate to call or come in today. The need is real,” he said.

Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-24BLOOD or (253) 383-2553. Drop-ins also are welcome. Information, including locations and directions to the centers, is also available on-line at www.cascadebloodcenters.org.

People who have a cold or other minor ailment can donate blood once they’re feeling well, Caldwell said.

She said mostly routine surgeries have accounted for hospitals’ heavy demand for blood. One patient alone required 28 units Wednesday.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, editor@fedwaymirror.com

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