Healthy Living: National Blood Donor Month


This content is from our sponsor.

January is National Blood Donor Month and while it is important to donate blood year-round, it is especially important during this pandemic.

One might expect a shortage in blood donations during a pandemic, however, Vicki Finson, the Executive Vice President for blood services at Bloodworks Northwest says, "We are collecting more blood and using more blood than we did in 2019."

Finson says it is an easy way to give back during this tough time, "People are looking for something really good to do and something that feels really good to do in a time where it’s maybe hard to find some of those things."

If you are a COVID-19 survivor, your donation can do even more good. 

Dr. Jim Polo is the Behavioral Health Medical Director with Regence, he also serves on the board of a local chapter of the American Red Cross. He says, "When individuals have had a COVID infection and recovered, COVID antibodies will be found in that plasma and can be used for patients that are suffering from an acute COVID infection."

Dr. Polo says if you want to donate the plasma component,  people need to be aware of a couple of things, "To donate convalescent plasma, one must have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID but be fully recovered with no physical symptoms for more than 14 days."

The blood donated through Bloodworks NW, stays right here in the pacific northwest. Finson says you may even know the person you help, "You could be a blood donor and your blood could go to your neighbor or it could end up going to a family member, and I think that is important, that sense of community is really what Bloodworks is all about."

For those wanting to donate, but skeptical of the safety precautions in place, Finson says they have made several changes. Here is what you can expect: Social distancing measures are in place at all collection sites and of course everyone must wear a mask or face covering. If you want to donate, you must make an appointment, no exceptions. Finson says this decreases the time you are there, and it also helps them predict their blood supply.

Speaking of their blood supply, while their donations are exceeding pre-pandemic levels, Finson says the month of January is always the toughest,  "Our inventory levels are looking pretty good today, but we’re a little nervous right now because our appointments for the next couple of weeks are below what they should be to maintain the blood supply."

Finson says the need continues throughout the year, "We are thrilled and appreciative of how the community has stepped up, that doesn’t mean however that they can stop! Because we need blood every day!"

Regular blood donations can be made every 8 weeks, and platelet donations can be monthly

Now if you choose to donate with Bloodworks NW, through March 17th, you will also be entered into a raffle to win a car—a little extra incentive for you.

Make an appointment with Bloodworks NW here or call: 1-800-398-7888

Make an appointment to donate with the American Red Cross here or call: 1-800-733-2767


This content is from our sponsor.