World Blood Donor Day has renewed focus amid nationwide shortages

Bloodworks Northwest is looking for potential donors as supplies are running low.

SEATTLE – June 14 is World Blood Donor Day. A nationwide blood shortage is the focus this year as it is estimated that every 2 seconds someone in the US needs blood.

The American Red Cross claims this year is the worst blood shortage in over a decade.

Bloodworks Northwest said they have about 4,000 appointments available and are confident donors will fill the gap.

“We hope the community will strengthen as it always does,” said Community Engagement Director Juan Cotto.

Of the 35% of eligible Americans, only 10% donate. Jill Gallagher and her son Jake stopped by Bloodworks for a platelet donation, something the organization says is needed even more.

“I feel like this is the least you can do and everyone should donate. You can sit with warm blankets, eat snacks and watch TV. All with the idea of ​​helping save a life,” Gallagher said.

Platelets are the smallest component of your blood that controls bleeding. Platelets combine to form a clot and prevent bleeding at the site of an injury.

“The extraction process takes a little longer and the shelf life is only five days,” Cotto said.

He adds that the Northwest is also home to several cancer research and treatment centers, so platelet donations are becoming increasingly critical. There are tens of thousands of platelets in a single drop of blood.

The fear of needles or the sight of blood may be off-putting to some, but there are health benefits to facing your fear and making a potentially life-saving donation.

Donating blood helps create new blood cells, reduces the risk of heart attacks and liver disease, lowers cholesterol, and even slows down aging.

A normal blood donation can take an hour, and a platelet donation can take up to 90 minutes or more. Bloodworks Northwest has 10 donor centers and numerous pop-up locations throughout western Washington and Oregon. Masks and appointments are compulsory. World Blood Donor Day has renewed focus amid nationwide shortages

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