Make a life-saving New Year’s resolution: Donate blood on a regular basis

December 29, 2017 Providence Health Team

Responding to the recent derailment of the Amtrak passenger train near DuPont on December 18, 2017 put major demands on the community blood supply. Bloodworks Northwest had to make an urgent appeal for donations after issuing blood to area hospitals receiving people injured in the tragedy. Our blood center is one of the best in the country and relies on the generosity of unpaid donors.

“Blood is truly a life-saving product,” said Dr. Richard Whitten, director of the blood banks at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia and Providence Centralia Hospital. “It is also costly to make safe for all those in need.”

Donated blood must be tested, treated and broken into various components. This takes time and not every drop can always be used. That’s why it’s important for Bloodworks Northwest to have a continuous supply to work with, not just during disasters.

Having a sufficient supply of blood at all times means our community can respond during crisis situations and continue to meet everyday patient needs. Emergencies happen each day and people you may not think about are often the ones who need blood the most.

“A woman delivering a baby who develops a complication that leads to excessive bleeding can require enough blood to replace her entire blood volume several times over,” said Dr. Whitten. “In contrast, some trauma cases may not need any blood.”


Consider giving blood throughout the year

A single blood donation can save up to three lives and you can donate blood once every 56 days. To help make sure our community always has enough blood, visit Bloodworks Northwest at to sign up for blood drives near you.

Want to know what’s involved in donating blood? Read these frequently asked questions from Bloodworks Northwest.

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