Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound provides $240,000 grant to Bloodworks Northwest

New automated blood banks will increase safety, access to emergency blood support

January 11, 2019 in Our Community

New automated Blood Banks in action.

Photo courtesy of Bloodworks Northwest

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound has provided Seattle-based Bloodworks Northwest with a $240,000 grant  to help provide a new fleet of life-saving HaemoBank blood dispensers to area hospitals—an “ultra-smart refrigerator” that operates like a highly-computerized vending machine.

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. 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.

Patricia Meissner, ECF Board President says, “The $240,000 ECF grant for the new HaemoBank Blood dispensers was made possible by the generous Boeing employees who choose to combine their contributions by giving to ECF, which enables us to make significant grants that keep our communities strong and healthy.”

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.

Bloodworks Northwest CEO & President Dr. Jim AuBuchon says, “These machines will have a huge impact on hospitals and help Bloodworks Northwest better serve more rural local hospitals early in 2019. 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. Dr. AuBuchon adds, “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. Bloodworks Northwest is grateful for ECF’s support that will have a big impact on thousands around Puget Sound.”

By Cathy Rudolph