New automated blood banks will increase safety, access to emergency blood support. COURTESY PHOTO, Bloodworks Northwest

New automated blood banks will increase safety, access to emergency blood support. COURTESY PHOTO, Bloodworks Northwest

Bloodworks Northwest gets a boost from Boeing

$240,000 grant will help hospital partners save lives

  • Friday, December 14, 2018 2:01pm
  • Business

A $240,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound will help Seattle-based Bloodworks Northwest provide a new fleet of live-saving HaemoBank blood dispensers to area hospitals – an “ultra-smart refrigerator” that operates like a highly-computerized vending machine.

Bloodworks Northwest announced the news this week.

The Blood Track HaemoBank Blood Allocation System by Haemonetics is a 24/7 virtual, automated blood bank allowing local hospitals immediate access to a full range of red blood cells types – all tested and transfusion ready, Bloodworks Northwest officials explained. They are digitally linked directly to Bloodworks Northwest transfusion service labs and backed up by sophisticated tracking and matching systems. That means it takes less than 10 minutes to assign specific units to patient in need. The new HaemoBank machines replace older, larger Haemosafe machines.

The first round of this transition from older Haemosafe machines to the newer, smaller HaemoBank machines began in Monroe where Evergreen Hospital installed a 20 blood unit dispenser. More HaemoBanks will be installed at Virginia Mason in March and later at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital in May 2019.

“These machines will have a huge impact on hospitals and help Bloodworks Northwest better serve more rural local hospitals early in 2019,” said Dr. Jim AuBuchon, Bloodworks Northwest CEO and president. “By moving to these newer models with a smaller footprint, we have the opportunity to move into smaller facilities that do not transfuse as many units as larger hospitals. This program allows hospitals have faster access to blood on-site.”

Blood transfusions are the most frequently-performed medical procedure that people have during hospital stays. About five million Americans receive transfusions every year, AuBuchon added.

“We are grateful to The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound (ECF) for their generous funding of these lifesaving machines that emphasize safe, quick and efficient support for our hospital partners and will make more un-cross matched blood readily available to better respond to major emergencies,” AuBuchon said. “Bloodworks Northwest is grateful for ECF’s support that will have a big impact on thousands around Puget Sound.”

For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org.

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