Bloodworks Northwest issued an urgent appeal for donors Monday morning following the Amtrak passenger train derailment near DuPont that is making major demands on the community blood supply.
At least three people were killed after Amtrak train 501 derailed and fell onto Interstate 5 during its inaugural trip on a new route Monday morning, according to multiple media reports as of the Reporter’s deadline Tuesday afternoon. National Transportation Safety Board officials confirmed at a press conference late Monday night that the train was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.
“On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, we are deeply saddened by all that has happened today,” said Amtrak President and co-CEO Richard Anderson on Twitter. “We will do everything in our power to support our passengers and crew and their families.”
The wreckage has blocked all southbound lanes of Interstate 5 since 7:38 a.m. and the Washington State Patrol recommend travelers take SR 16 to SR 3. This and an alternative northbound route can be found at the state patrol’s blog. As of Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the southbound lanes are still blocked near mile marker 116 according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
HOW TO HELP
Donors can still help the community by scheduling an appointment in upcoming days that will help meet the needs of victims who need ongoing treatment and help restock the blood supply, according to Dr. James AuBuchon, Bloodworks president and CEO. He noted that supplies for some blood types are at critical levels – just one- or two-day supply, compared to a normal four-day inventory.
“Bloodworks has issued more than 150 units of blood to respond to emergency orders from hospitals receiving people injured in the tragedy,” said AuBuchon in a press release. “Many of the casualties [were] taken to South Sound hospitals — including St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Peter’s Hospital and Madigan Army Medical Center — who all depend on Bloodworks to meet their patient needs.”
There is a special need for O-type blood, AB plasma and platelets but all donors are welcome.
“We need to replenish our supplies to meet the needs of injured people today, and in the days ahead, as well as to meet normal needs,” he said in a press release.
“Having blood already on the shelves is essential when unforeseeable emergencies or tragedies happen,” AuBuchon said in a press release. “To avoid a crisis for the local blood supply, we’re urging donors who have not donated recently to schedule an appointment as soon as they can at a donor center or mobile drive.”
Donor centers are open for extended hours this month to make donations more convenient. Information can be found at bloodworksnw.org. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome. Appointments can be made online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888.