The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Northwest Blood Coalition urge eligible blood donors to donate during National Blood Donor Month. The coalition serving Washington state includes: Vitalant, Cascade Regional Blood Centers, BloodworksNW, and the American Red Cross Northwest Region.
Donating blood is safe for donators and lifesaving for recipients. Donations are critical for patients undergoing surgeries, cancer treatments, blood disorder treatments, childbirth complications, and other serious and potentially life-threatening conditions and injuries. Most people in good health, at least 18 years old and weighing 110 pounds, can donate blood. People aged 16 and 17 may donate in Washington with signed permission forms.
“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood,” said Angel Montes, Donor Services Executive, Red Cross Northwest Region. “You can help patients in need by making a blood or platelet donation today.”
The need for blood donations across the state is at a critical level which is anticipated to continue until donations increase. There is a specific need for younger volunteers willing to commit to multiple donations a year. Those who have regularly donated can encourage younger loved ones to join in the lifesaving commitment.
“New blood donors are needed every day to replace those who can no longer donate,” said Jennifer Hawkins, Regional Director for Vitalant Northwest. “However, blood centers are seeing fewer people step forward to roll up their sleeves. This is a perfect time to donate and continue donating three times a year. If everyone did this, we would no longer have emergency blood shortages across the Pacific Northwest.”
According to Curt Bailey, President and CEO at BloodworksNW, “The blood used in emergency situations is usually collected a week to ten days in advance. A community has to be ready for the next crisis situation. Consistent blood donations ensure a safe and reliable blood supply for our community and patients.”
The President and CEO at Cascade Regional Blood Services, Christine Swinehart said, “Blood donations drop off every year during the holidays, yet the need remains high, creating emergency shortages like we are experiencing today. Kick off the new year by giving in the most meaningful way with your generous blood or platelet donation. Please make an appointment today at your community blood center and give the gift of life.”