TV Tacoma's CityLine speaks to Cascade Regional Blood Services: Why It's safe to give blood right now

Amanda Westbrook, from TV Tacoma’s CityLine speaks to Steve Freed, Laboratory Operations Manager for Cascade Regional Blood Services about why now is a safe and important time to give blood.

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The News Tribune: Here’s how you can help Pierce County Service providers respond to coronavirus

The News Tribune outlines current needs and ways you can help in this article and making an appointment to donate blood at Cascade Regional Blood Service is on their list.

As The News Tribune recently reported, blood donations locally and nationally have fallen amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of last week, Pierce County’s blood supply was down by more than 40 percent, according Candace Morrison, a spokesperson for Tacoma-based Cascade Regional Blood Services.

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Donating Blood is Safe and an Essential Service for our Communities

Donating Blood is Safe and an Essential Service for our Communities

The FDA and Blood Center Organizations Come Together to Encourage Blood Donations

Posted by Cascade Regional Blood Services on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The FDA and blood center organizations come together to encourage blood donations, assuring people that donating blood is absolutely safe and direly needed.

“It is safe to donate blood. Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment today to ensure that blood is available for patients who need it.” 

—Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D.
Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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South Sound Talk: Cascade Regional Blood Services’ Give Back Scholarship

Cascade Regional Blood Services awards four $500 scholarships each year to local high school and college students to educate and increase awareness of the need to give back to one’s community.

We’ve been featured in South Sound Talk for our annual Give Back Scholarship. Every year, Cascade Regional Blood Services awards four $500 scholarships to local high school and college students to educate and increase awareness of the need to give back to one’s community.

To apply, students must have completed 20+ hours of community service and prepare an essay of 500 words describing their experience. Applicants’ schools or colleges are expected to host a blood drive that year, with the help of Cascade Regional Blood Services. Applicants themselves are not required to donate blood; many volunteer at blood drives or at area hospitals.

The scholarship not only supports scholastic achievement, but promotes community involvement, particularly through blood donation.

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The News Tribune: Another Coronavirus Casualty: Pierce County’s Dangerously Low Blood Supply (EDITORIAL)

In Pierce County, the blood supply is down by more than 40 percent, a depletion that could have dire consequences. All healthy adults should consider donating blood now.

The News Tribune reports that In Pierce County, blood supply is down by more than 40 percent, a dire situation for folks whose health depends on donated blood. All healthy adults should consider donating blood now.

More than 60 percent of blood donations come from blood drives at area high schools and colleges, but in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, those collection efforts have been canceled. More than 37 percent of Pierce County’s population is eligible to donate blood, but typically only 5 percent do. And now that number is down to 2 or 3 percent. 

Donating is absolutely safe right now, with no waiting in line and no contact except with the trained and protected person taking the blood. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and help.

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South Sound Talk: Coronavirus Fears Put Nation’s Blood Supply at Risk

Amid fears surrounding the pandemic, Cascade Regional Blood Services wants to assure you that it is completely safe to donate blood—and that your donation is absolutely vital to save lives.

While news of the pandemic and related public health rules change daily, South Sound Talk reports that donating blood is safe. Cascade Regional Blood Services continues to follow rigid health and safety protocols. Donors are safe from infection both in attending blood drives and during the blood donation process itself.

To ensure that patients continue to receive life-saving treatments, healthy individuals are asked to continue to donate. As the coronavirus outbreak expands, our blood supply is affected—regionally and nationally—by the decrease in the number of eligible donors, and by the cancellation of collection drives.

The FDA reports that there have been no cases of the coronavirus spread through transfusion, and stringent screening and protection measures are in place.

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South Sound Talk: Cascade Regional Blood Services Seeking Blood Donations to Build a Diverse Donor Base

We’ve been featured in featured in South Sound talk for our work to expand our donor bas to provide the specific blood products needed for Sickle Cell patients at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Blood transfusion is one of the most critical sickle cell treatments and can lessen pain for the children and adults who live with sickle cell disease. Some sickle cell disease patients require transfusions as often as monthly – making the need for blood donations constant.

“Patients are not always scheduled in advance for transfusions. Like any emergency, it’s the blood on our shelves that makes the difference,” says Richard Freed, Laboratory Operations Manager at Cascade Regional Blood Services.

A dedicated Cascade Regional Blood Services nurse case manager ensures children with sickle cell disease get personalized care and the recommended tests and treatments they need.

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South Sound Talk: Pediatric Patients in Urgent Need of Blood Donations at Mary Bridge this Summer

Earlier this spring Seattle Children’s Hospital was forced to shut down four of its operating rooms due to mold. With these patients being transferred from Seattle to Tacoma, Mary Bridge is in dire need of donors to help support the high demand for blood products.

Earlier this spring Seattle Children’s Hospital was forced to shut down four of its operating rooms due to mold. With these patients being transferred from Seattle to Tacoma, Mary Bridge is in dire need of donors to help support the high demand for blood products.

“From the initial closure at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we have seen our demand for blood on pediatric patients increase nearly 400%,” Richard Freed, Cascade Regional Blood Service’s Laboratory Operations Manager tells us. “At this point, we expect the demand to increase even further. Recruiting, collecting and processing blood for the pediatric patients is always a challenge.”

Cascade Regional Blood Service encourages all eligible donors and even first-time donors to make a difference this summer by making a blood donation to help keep supplies high enough in order to support the record amounts of young patients in need.

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Key Biologics and Cascade Regional Blood Services Partner on Leukapheresis Collections

TACOMA, WA, UNITED STATES – Jan 16, 2019 – Key Biologics LLC and Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) today announced a multi-year agreement to provide researchers in academia, pharma and biotech with vital blood products and materials for their research and product manufacturing efforts. The partnership focuses on collection of mononuclear cells (MNCs) by leukapheresis and includes joint donor recruitment, product distribution and marketing. The companies will leverage Cascade Regional Blood Services’ centers in Tacoma, Puyallup and Federal Way, Washington for donor screening and leukapheresis collections. The program will build on CRBS’s established expertise in recruiting and enrolling its volunteer blood donors into research studies involving collection of non-traditional blood products.

MNCs are a critical raw material for the development of cell- and gene-based therapies targeting certain life-threatening diseases. Demand for these products is rapidly increasing worldwide. Collection of MNCs by leukapheresis is a multi-hour procedure and therefore requires a high level of commitment from the donor. Both Key Biologics and CRBS have been very active in the recruitment of qualified donors to support these important research efforts.

For Memphis-based Key Biologics, the agreement extends its collection and distribution network, and better positions it to serve its growing customer base on the West Coast of the US and Canada as well as in Asia and Australia. For Cascade Regional Blood Services, the collaboration increases the utilization and output of its facilities and expands the products and services it can offer its customers and opportunities it can offer its donors.

In August, Key Biologics merged with Seattle-based Astarte Biologics adding highly complementary immunology expertise and expanding the combined company’s cell characterization, custom cell line and assay development capabilities. The addition of Astarte’s product and service lines provides Key Biologics’ customers with access to highly characterized cells and qualified cell lines. Astarte also has a long-standing relationship with Cascade Regional Blood Services with CRBS being an important provider of materials for Astarte’s work.

CRBS is a member of Blood Centers of America (BCA), a national organization of over 50 independent community blood centers and source plasma collection centers that is the largest blood supply network in the United States. In September, Key Biologics and BCA announced an agreement to leverage each organization’s resources and capabilities to supply critical raw materials needed for pre-clinical research and for clinical manufacturing of cell-based therapies.

“This partnership immediately expands Key Biologics collection and supply footprint and gives us the ability to serve a much broader segment of the market,” said Joe Gentile, CEO of Key Biologics. “The Northwest is an important and growing area for vital medical research and CRBS has the state-of-the-art facilities, expertise, and an engaged donor base to support those efforts. Our existing relationship with CRBS through Astarte and BCA will also help ensure we can immediately leverage the partnership to the benefit of all parties.”

“We are excited to partner with Key Biologics and expand upon our long history of supporting research activities. We look forward to offering our donors new opportunities for saving lives and contributing to scientific advancements,” said Christine Swinehart, CEO of CRBS.

About Cascade Regional Blood Services

Cascade Regional Blood Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 independent blood center serving community hospitals and clinics in Western Washington since 1946. CRBS provides blood products, therapeutic apheresis services, and support to pharmaceutical partners. With a dedicated volunteer donor base, CRBS conducts over 1,000 blood drives a year and has three donor center locations, including a laboratory in their Tacoma headquarters.  For more than 25 years, research companies have looked to CRBS to support their individual and IRB endeavors through recruitment and specialized collections.  For more information, visit

About Key Biologics LLC

Memphis-based Key Biologics provides research- and clinical-grade human cells and blood products and related services to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and academic institutions around the world. The company is focused on advancing life science from discovery, through R&D, and into curing disease. The company began support of this industry in 1999 when its antecedent, Lifeblood Biological Services (LBS), was created by Dr. Edward Scott to meet the needs of biotech companies for well-characterized human biological materials to support research and development. Lifeblood’s recognition of the industry need and the business opportunity that resulted occurred a decade or more before other community blood centers embraced that view. Because of its long history and reputation, Key Biologics is viewed as the preferred partner for cell sourcing within the industry. With its recent merger with Astarte Biologics, the company now also offers the largest selection of characterized immune cells and reagents to help immunology and inflammation researchers accelerate their discovery efforts.  For more information, and

South Sound Talk: Boy at Mary Bridge Hospital Needs O Positive Blood Donations to Battle Cancer

Three-year old diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) needs your donations of O positive blood

Until last November, Junior was an energetic three-year-old. He was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), which typically affects the B cells in children. 

Junior is being treated at Mary Bridge Hospital, where he will need platelets and red blood cells for an undetermined period of time, depending on how his body reacts to the transfusions and the aggressiveness of the disease.

If you have O positive blood he could really use your generous donations to battle this forceful cancer.

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