Bloodworks issued an urgent appeal for donors today following the Amtrak passenger train derailment near DuPont that is making major demands on the community blood supply.
At least six 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. The exact number of casualties and injuries is unconfirmed by local officials, but 77 passengers and five crew members were in the 13 rail cars that jumped the tracks.
“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.”
Individuals who need information about friends or family on train 501 should call 800-523-9101, according to Amtrak. Amtrak Cascades Trains 504 and 509 are cancelled. No alternate transportation will be available.
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.
HOW TO HELP
Donors who can’t donate today can still help the community by scheduling an appointment in upcoming days which will help meet the needs of victims who need ongoing treatment, according to AuBuchon. 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 Dr. James AuBuchon, president and CEO, in a press release. “Many of the casualties have been 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.
“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.