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Heat wave sparks shortage in blood donations

The region is undergoing a critical blood shortage due to the hot weather.

Due to the hot streak, Puget Sound Blood Center is unable to run its mobile blood donation centers. Their supply of O-type blood has reached the critical point at a two-day supply, less than half what it normally is.

"Group O is universal," spokesman Michael Young said. "If someone has a traumatic accident, there usually isn't time for blood typing and they can be given this blood."

Donors are requested to go to one 11 air-conditioned donation centers in the state, including the one in Federal Way, 1414 S. 324th St., Suite B101.

When the temps go over 80 degrees, the blood drives are cancelled because the heat makes the mobile center uncomfortable, Young said.

In the past week, PSBC has cancelled about 200 blood drives.

It takes about 900 people donating blood each day to keep up with the demand for Western Washington. When that need is not met, surgeries have to be cancelled, and hospitals and clinics may not have enough blood to treat traumatic accidents.

Cascade Regional Blood Services also seeks blood donations. The Federal Way center is at 33505 13th Place S. Suite B. Call (253) 945-7974 or e-mail robinl@crbs.net.

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