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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane blood bank says shortages are dire

Downtown center to open on New Year’s Day

Jaclyn Archer The Spokesman-Review
The Inland Northwest Blood Center is critically low on two types of blood — so low that the agency is opening on New Year’s day for donations. The blood center needs 500 donors this week to accumulate a safe inventory of O-Negative and O-Positive blood, said Elizabeth Giles, spokeswoman for the sole provider of blood to more than 35 hospitals regionally. O-Negative can be given to anyone in an emergency situation, while O-Positive is the most common blood type and therefore crucial to have in adequate supply. “We saw a shortage in June but it hasn’t been this critically low since last January,” Giles said. The blood center has only 10 percent of the needed blood supply. Giles attributes the shortage to the convergence of holiday travel, which pulls donors out of town, flu season, and forgetfulness. But she said it’s especially problematic because blood is most needed during the holiday season, when accidents increase. The blood bank’s main downtown Spokane location will be open on New Year’s Day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Giles said people who plan to party on New Year’s Eve still can donate. “We say ‘healthy and able to donate,’ so if you’re able to drive, then you should be able to donate blood,” she said.
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