Your blood can save a life

As part of her ongoing cancer treatment, islander Marlyn Myers receives regular blood transfusions.

She is one of thousands of people who receive donated blood every day – whether it’s in an emergency situation or for long-term care.

It’s a precious resource that is only procurable one way: through donations.

The American Red Cross is facing a nationwide shortage. As of last week, the organization had less than a five-day blood supply on hand. In the summer, the need increases while donations typically decrease by 15 percent. This year has seen a record low with an additional 10 percent decrease in the Pacific Northwest. There is a particular need for type O and AB.

Bloodworks Northwest has issued a “code-red” appeal for donors. Every blood donation can make a significant difference in the life of someone desperately in need.

And there is an added bonus for you of receiving a mini physical. All donors have their pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin checked.

Anyone who is in good health, is 18 or over, and weighs at least 110 pounds may give blood every 56 days. Sixteen or 17-year-olds who weigh at least 114 pounds may donate with a permission slip. Some health conditions or medications can prevent you from giving blood, but a simple questionnaire upon arrival determines eligibility.

Once you are approved to give blood, the actual donation process takes about 10 minutes. Only sterile, disposable equipment is used, which makes it just about impossible to contract a disease through the process.

Please consider taking a little time out of your day this week to donate blood. It’s a simple act with a far reaching impact.

Three blood drives this week:

San Juan Island

Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mullis Community Senior Center.

Orcas

Thursday, Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eastsound Fire Station.

Lopez

Friday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.), Community Church in the Village.

You can reserve a time slot a https://schedule.psbc.org/DonorPortal/GroupLanding.aspx?s=2650 or just show up. Drinks and dessert are provided.