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Blood donations urgently needed

The back-to-school season is a critical time for our blood supply

OLYMPIA – As summer ends and the school year begins, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Northwest Blood Coalition urge eligible blood donors to schedule donations.

According to the Northwest Blood Coalition, high school and college students make up almost 25 percent of blood donations. “High schoolers and college-age youth are critically important members of our donor base,” shared Vitalant Regional Director Jennifer Hawkins.

The Northwest Blood Coalition is formed by four blood donation centers currently serving Washington state: Vitalant, Cascade Regional Blood Centers, BloodworksNW, and the American Red Cross Northwest Region. As Red Cross Regional Services Executive Angel Montes describes, “The Northwest Blood Coalition’s primary focus is to ensure a safe, reliable blood supply for our community.” DOH collaborates with the coalition to support this vital work.

“Blood centers enthusiastically welcome students back to school,” said Curt Bailey, President and CEO at BloodworksNW. “We want to engage those interested in the rewarding, lifesaving act of donating blood—whether they’ve done it before or it’s their first time.”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Donated blood is crucial for those undergoing surgeries, cancer treatments, blood disorder treatments, complications from childbirth, and other serious conditions and injuries. However, blood supply shortages continue to be a nationwide concern, and Washington state is no exception.

“We know that people want to help. Donations tend to slow when school is on break and summer activities are happening,” added Christine Swinehart, President and CEO at Cascade Regional Blood Centers. “As we look toward fall, we want to remind folks that now is a great time to donate!”

To learn more and schedule an appointment, please visit the blood center websites linked above.

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