By: Jason Guo
On Wednesday and Thursday, April 11 – 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bloodworks Northwest distributed some hematologists to BC campus for blood donors.
Bloodworks Northwest is an independent, non-profit organization harnessing donor gifts to provide a safe, life-saving blood supply to more than 90 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. The company’s physicians are specialists in transfusion medicine, and provide care for patients with bleeding disorders and other conditions.
The company’s research institute makes scientific breakthroughs to help people live longer and healthier lives, both locally and around the world. Bloodworks Northwest has a mission of saving lives through research, innovation, education and excellence in blood, medical and laboratory services in partnership with our community.
Mallory, one of the hematologists on the bus, said there were 38 donors on Wednesday. Roxxi, one of the donors that day, said “I have never donated blood before, so this is my first time to give blood, and I hope this can be helpful to people in need of it.” The bus was very clean and comfortable, with some colorful lights inside the bus in order to make the environment less stressful. People were able to walk in or make an appointment with the hematologists to donate blood during the open hours.
“Our company covers a large area in the northwest, including many cities in Washington state and Oregon state”, said Connor Taylor, a hematologist operatint from the bus. “We drove from Lynnwood this morning, but there may be different groups of hematologists on this bus because we do go to many different places to get blood from donors”. “By Washington State’s law, people between age 16 – 17 need their parents’ or guardians’ consent to donate blood”. The whole experience of donating blood at the mobile drive on the Bellevue College campus was easy and safe. People needed only to bring their photo ID to get registered. They were then asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to confirm that they were eligible to donate at that moment.
After a short interview and health check with the technician, people were on the cot for their donation. Hematologists usually collected one pint of blood in a sterile bag. After collecting donors’ blood, they were invited to refreshments before leaving.
Each year Bloodworks helps over 55,000 patients receive life-saving transfusions. Donating blood, which is the traditional way of donating, is quick and easy. It usually takes less than an hour in total.
After collection, whole blood is processed into three components for use by patients. Red cells carry oxygen to the organs and tissue. Platelets promote blood clotting, and plasma is the fluid that carries blood cells throughout the body, which also contains proteins that help clotting.
People who are interested in donating blood can donate either at a mobile drive or at a center. For more information, please visit the website www.bloodworksnw.org, or contact the chief operating officer, Linda S. Barnes, via LindaB@BloodworksNW.org.