Third annual Washington State Blood Donor Day Dec. 18

The 2017 Amtrak 501 train derailment demonstrated that when it comes to emergency needs, the Pacific Northwest blood supply needs to be stocked and ready. Bloodworks Northwest was able to rush 150 units to area hospitals immediately after the derailment, but asks if there would there be enough on hand if the same kind of emergency happened today?

In a press release, Bloodworks said there is a critical need of Type O donors (both O Negative and O Positive). And the need remains high as the holidays approach. Bloodworks reports more than 18,000 open appointments from now until the end of the month. Typically, over the holidays, blood supplies plummet as people’s holiday schedules book up.

Bloodworks is inviting the community to take part by donating a pint of blood at centers or pop-up blood drives across the region to commemorate the vital role local donors play in emergency readiness. A virtual drive is being set up from Dec. 18- 30. The goal is 501 donors in honor of Amtrak 501. Use the code “HOPE” at your appointment check-in to have your donation counted towards goal of 501 donors.

Juan Cotto, Bloodworks Northwest’s senior government affairs and community engagement specialist, first proposed the day be set aside in 2020, in order to recognize first responders on the scene that tragic day in 2017 as well as underscore the need to be enough blood on hand for any emergency (man-made or natural). The 2017 Amtrak train tragic event demonstrated that when it comes to patient needs, there’s no such thing as a holiday. Demand for blood is continuous to support local patients having surgeries, trauma care and organ transplants – as well as patients needing blood for cancer treatment.

It typically takes 1,000 donors to meet community need. This month, Bloodworks needs an additional 300 donors a week to keep up with hospital requests for blood. Not sure whether you’re eligible to donate blood? There are some basic qualifications to donate—typically you’ll need to be at least 18, at least 110 pounds and in good health. But many other factors, like travel, tattoos, and vaccinations people think might disqualify them aren’t true.

More Information is at bloodworksnw.org.

  1. There are mobile Pop-Up blood drives scheduled at the Edmonds Waterfront Center for December 27, 28, and 29, from 9am-4pm.
    Click the link above to see full information and to schedule a donation.

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