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Blood supplies are 'running on fumes;' trauma centers seek blood from universal donors

blood donation
Jessica Kourkounis
The Associated Press

Bloodworks Northwest says its supply for local trauma centers is “running on fumes.” The organization is making an appeal for blood donations, especially those from universal donors.

Type O blood is useful in trauma cases when there’s little time to find out someone’s blood type.

“If you’re lower on other blood types and at a moderate level on the Group O inventory, usually you can get by pretty well,” said Brian Danforth, who oversees inventory for Bloodworks Northwest. “But when you become critically low on that key blood group, that does put pressure on the system. That’s why this makes it a little bit urgent.”

The organization is especially concerned with summer approaching, which means high school blood drives won't happen. People in good health are eligible to donate about every two months.

To donate, try these area blood donation organizations:

Bloodworks Northwest, throughout the Northwest

Cascade Regional Blood Services, in Pierce County

American Red Cross

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.