OLYMPIA – Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington State Blood Coalition are urging people to volunteer to donate blood.
The need for donated blood goes up with the warm weather. As more people travel and spend more time outdoors, they suffer accidents and medical procedures that require transfusions. Blood donations also tend to go down due to work vacations and class breaks at schools and colleges. This combination can lead to critical shortages of life-saving blood, plasma, and other blood products.
“We are heading into a perfect storm if we don’t start building our blood supply now,” said Jennifer Hawkins, Regional Director of Vitalant Northwest.
“We believe the summer months are a perfect time to donate blood and we encourage our citizens to support a true public connection through this universal activity,” said Curt Bailey, President and CEO of BloodworksNW.
Donating blood is easy and donation appointments are convenient for your schedule. Most people in good health who are at least 18 years old and who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate whole blood. In Washington, minors ages 16 and 17 can donate with a signed parental consent form. Depending on the type of donation (blood, plasma, platelets), the appointment should take between one and two hours.
“We know people want to give blood,” said Christine Swinehart, President and CEO of Cascade Regional Blood Services. “It is our hope we can make this process as easy as possible.”
Blood donations save lives and improve the health of many.
“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood,” said Andrew Rose, Assistant Secretary for Response Operations at DOH. “Products like plasma, platelets, and antibodies can help people recover from complications from cancer treatment, immunological disorders, and other serious conditions.”
“Eligible donors are encouraged to be part of something big by making an appointment to give blood this month,” said Angel Montes, Regional Donor Services Executive, American Red Cross Northwest Region.