Know your blood type? Supplies of 7 out of 8 blood type varieties need DC-area donors

The pandemic has stressed medical care resources in many areas, but the instability of blood inventories continues to escalate, according to Inova Blood Donor Services that provides blood products to 24 D.C.-area hospitals.

“Since March, we have been in an urgent and critical position with the blood supply. It is critical here in our area and across the country,” said Heather Wade, manager of donor recruitment for Inova blood donor services.

Inova recently enacted a Massive Transfusion Protocol, or MTP, and the hospital used its supply of Type B and had to begin using the universal donor Type O blood products to stabilize a patient. Now there’s vital need for donations of Type O and Type B blood, but donors of all blood types are needed.

Wade said keeping up with routine, ongoing needs and emergencies requires 200 D.C.-area donors seven days a week.

“It could be one trauma, one transplant patient, one post-delivery hemorrhage that could go through an entire supply of a specific blood product, and it could negatively impact patient care without those units being available for transfusion,” Wade warned.

It takes about an hour to donate whole blood.

“We need you now. We want everyone to know that it is safe, it is easy, and it is swift,” she said. “It’s a great way to give back.”

Inova has Blood Donor Centers in Centreville, Sterling and Annandale. You can also make an appointment or ask questions about donating blood by calling 1-866-256-6372 or online at the Inova Blood Donor Services website.

D.C.-area hospitals are served by both Inova Blood Donor Services and the American Red Cross, which also makes appointments for donations at multiple area locations.

Inova blood donor centers are located at:

  • CentreMed Donor Center, 6201 Centreville Road (Route 28), Centreville, Virginia
  • Dulles Donor Center, 45745 Nokes Blvd., #160, Sterling, Virginia
  • Woodburn Donor Center, 3289 Woodburn Road, #010, Annandale, Virginia

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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