Monday, December 18, 2017

Amtrak Derailment Spurs Appeal for Blood Donations

Above: Lynette Manning, donor service recruiter at Bloodworks Northwest in Olympia, answers questions from Amos Wood, who arrived to donate blood in response to the Amtrak train derailment near Olympia on Monday morning.

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

The public response for blood donations in the aftermath of the early Monday morning Amtrak train derailment near Olympia has been overwhelming but much appreciated by local blood donor centers.

There continues to be a special need for O-type blood and AB plasma and platelets.

At 5:00 p.m., donor service recruiter Lynette Manning at Bloodworks Northwest, 1220 Eastside Street SE in Olympia, was busy. She said the office had accepted about 200 donors on Monday. 

While the office was still packed with dozens waiting to donate blood, potential blood donors lined up outside but were not turned away. Instead, Manning was busy scheduling appointments for donors to come back throughout the week and fielded a lot of questions about donating blood.

Amos Wood arrived and scheduled an appointment for Saturday. 

At first he wasn’t sure he could donate blood because he has a fresh tattoo, but Manning assured him that as long as the tattoo was done in a licensed facility in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or California, there was no problem. 

“The rules have changed about that,” she added.

A woman said she just had a biopsy that day and wondered if she could donate blood. Manning questioned her. Did you have blood drawn? Did you receive tissue from someone else? The woman said no to both questions, so Manning told her it wasn’t a problem.

Little Hollywood asked Manning what she wants people to know about donating blood.

“With tragedies like this, although it’s very sad and a surprise, it’s helpful for people to do this on a regular basis because a lot of the blood that’s being used for today’s patients is blood that we collected days and weeks ago. It’s great we get this kind of turnout but it’s really important to get consistent donations coming in. We need about 800 donations a day in order to keep up with the needs for Western Washington. Bloodworks Northwest is the sole provider for blood for over 90 hospitals,” Manning said.

Bloodworks Northwest has donor centers from Bellingham, Washington to Eugene, Oregon.

According to news sources, the train derailment resulted in at least three deaths and more than 100 injured. Thurston County first responders were involved at the scene and the injured were taken to local hospitals.

Blood donor appointments can be made online at or by calling 1-800-398-7888. Information about center locations and times can be found at