Blood in short supply, American Red Cross urges donors

KENNEWICK, Wash. – “The need for blood is constant; and every two seconds somebody needs blood,” Executive Director Michele Roth with the American Red Cross of Southeast and Central Washington said.

As elective surgeries are rescheduled and hospitals see an uptick in trauma, Roth said they’re reaching out to anyone who can, to donate.

“Yes, the need it there. A lot of times we don’t realize that hospitals have to have a certain amount of blood banked before they can do a surgery, even if it’s an elective surgery,” Roth explained.

Roth said the donations collected throughout the Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley can stay local or go to another state.

“We’re delivering to about 22 hospitals, 2500 nationally, truly we need to keep that supply up,” she said.

Roth said they’ve also been getting a lot of questions about donating blood during the pandemic.

“It is totally safe to donate blood, pandemic or not and the need is there. We need and want anybody who is healthy and feeling good and comfortable to donate we want that donor,” she explained.

Roth said it’s okay if you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered or been vaccinated against the virus; they’re also still testing donations for antibodies.

The American Red Cross is looking for all blood types and even people who can donate plasma.

You can look for the nearest and soonest drive by going online.

They also have a mobile app, that allows you to register and track your donation.

“It tells you when you donated, then it tells you when it’s in route for processing. You get the results, like during COVID for your antibodies test, and then you actually find out where your blood ended up, and that’s the closest we’re ever gonna get to knowing who received our blood,” Roth said.

They’re also looking for people to host drives, especially in the Pasco area.

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