Celebrate World Blood Donor Day by scheduling a lifesaving donation

For immediate release: June 13, 2024   (24-068)

Contact: DOH Communications

The demand for blood increases in the summer, but donations decrease

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington State Blood Coalition encourage Washingtonians to celebrate World Blood Donor Day Friday by volunteering to donate blood. The greatest need for donors comes during the “100 Deadliest Days” between Memorial Day and Labor Day, nationally known as the most dangerous time for teen drivers.

“Data shows that fatal crashes increase dramatically between the two holidays,” said Curt Bailey, Bloodworks Northwest president and CEO. “We at Bloodworks Northwest also know that summer is when donations can drop dramatically with many families on vacation and unable to schedule donations. Combine those factors and you see why we're so concerned right now.”

As more people travel and spend more time outdoors, they suffer accidents and medical procedures that require transfusions. Blood donations also tend to decrease in the summer. This combination can lead to critical shortages of lifesaving blood, plasma, and other blood products.

“World Blood Donor Day activities allow blood centers around the globe to come together with a common message to help build safe and available blood supplies,” said Mitzy Edgecomb, Vitalant vice president. “Ensuring a healthy, diverse, and robust donor base supports the lives of patients here in Washington and in countries throughout the world. Our common goal is to save lives through the precious resource of blood.”

Donating blood is easy. Depending on the type of donation (blood, plasma, platelets), the appointment should take between one and two hours. Anyone 18 years or older, in good health, and at least 110 pounds is eligible. With parental permission, 16- and 17-year-olds may also donate.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Products like plasma, platelets, and antibodies can help people recover from complications due to cancer treatment, immunological disorders, and other serious conditions.

“By committing to a lifesaving blood donation this summer and on World Blood Donor Day, we can ensure that we maintain a healthy blood inventory for patients in need here in Washington state and beyond,” said Angel Montes, American Red Cross Northwest Region regional donor services executive. “Blood is perishable and cannot be manufactured, thus why we need your help with consistent blood donations this summer."

Washington State has a Blood Coalition that works everyday throughout the year to increase the inventory of the lifesaving blood products across the state. The Blood Coalition includes VitalantBloodworks Northwest, and the American Red Cross.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and follow us on X (formerly Twitter). Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection