They are asking Northern Virginia residents, if they are able, to donate blood at one of Inova’s fixed site blood donor centers as soon as possible.
Donors may schedule an appointment, or find a donor center by visiting www.inova.org/donateblood or calling 1-866-BLOODSAVES (866-256-6372).
The closest fixed donation site to Reston is on Nokes Boulevard near Dulles Town Center. See all area sites, get directions and make an appointment on Inova’s website.
Terri Craddock, Director of Inova Blood Services, says Inova shut down collection operations for 2 1/2 days. That’s the first time in 50 years such a thing has happened, she said.
“The inventory of blood at Inova has been severely impacted by Winter Storm Jonas as we were unable to collect these lifesaving products for our patients over the last 2 ½ days,” Craddock said in a release.
“During the height of the storm, we had heavy usage of blood products at some of our hospitals. With this increase in usage and decrease in collections, we need blood donors to answer our call. Without reaching our daily collections goal of 250 units a day, our shelves are running empty. This insufficient inventory leaves local hospitals vulnerable in response to emergency patients as well as provides challenges in meeting in or out-patient procedures requiring the use of blood and blood products.”
Also impacting the shortage: Inova’s mobile drives — which are responsible for more than 70 percent of collections — will be canceled this week as they usualally take place in office parking lots.
“Mobile Blood Drives are cancelling, participation at business blood drives are down because employees have the option to telework and quite honestly, with all the snow, we can’t park our bloodmobile in an area safe enough for the donors to give,” said Carolyn Bayless, Mobile Operations Manager.
All blood types are needed. To give blood, donors must be feeling generally well on the day of their donation, be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past eight weeks (56 days) for whole blood or 112 days for double red cells. Platelet donors should not take aspirin or aspirin-based products within 48 hours prior to donation.
Inova Bloodmobile/file photo