Child holding heart in their fingers.

Island Health is excited to be partnering with Bloodworks Northwest to host single-day blood drives once again! Blood donation is a vital process in hospitals and patient care. The need for blood is constant, with the CDC reporting that every two seconds there is a patient in need of blood. Since there is no medical substitute for human blood, hospitals rely on the donations from community members. Donating blood takes about an hour from check-in to recovery. A typical blood donation is about 500 milliliters (approximately one pint) of blood which can save up to three lives. The blood donated is used to treat serious injuries, in cancer treatment, childbirth, anemia, surgical procedures and blood disorders. After donating blood, it takes the body about eight weeks to replenish the red blood cells, which means that a single donor can give blood six times per year, ultimately saving 18 lives.

Donating blood is not only beneficial to the recipient(s) but can be beneficial to the donor. Giving blood has been shown to help reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure. It is also mentally beneficial as an act of good service to one’s community.

Tips for a successful donation:

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids before and after donating.
  • Eat iron-rich food (meat, spinach, poultry) before donating.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before donation.
  • Wear a short-sleeve shirt or shirt with easy-to-roll-up sleeves.
  • Take it easy after donating; no strenuous activity 12 hours after donation.
  • If you are not a fan of needles, bring a book or phone to distract yourself.

To donate there are a few criteria:

  1. You must be 16 years or older with a valid driver’s license.
  2. You must weigh at least 120 pounds.
  3. You must pass the Bloodworks health questionnaire and vitals check which measure your heartrate, blood pressure, and iron levels.

A Bloodworks Northwest donor recently received this message from the patient who received their blood, “I want to thank you for donating blood. You absolutely saved my life. I needed a transfusion during my C-section that also saved my baby’s life. If I hadn’t had your blood, I would have died and never gotten to experience my son. Although I don’t know you, I send my love to you!” It’s truly remarkable what a simple act can do for a patient in need.

Interested in donating blood? Click here to make an appointment at Island Health’s Pop-Up Blood Drive on October 14th.


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Published on September 19, 2022