A man donates blood. COURTESY PHOTO, Bloodworks Northwest

A man donates blood. COURTESY PHOTO, Bloodworks Northwest

Tragedy becomes call to action on Washington and Oregon Blood Donor Day Dec. 18

2017 Amtrak train derailment underscoring need for emergency preparedness this winter and through pandemic

The 2017 Amtrak 501 train derailment near DuPont demonstrated that when it comes to emergency needs, the Pacific Northwest blood supply needs to be stocked and at the ready – community ready.

Governors Kate Brown and Jay Inslee have recognized Friday, Dec. 18 as Washington and Oregon Blood Donor Day in recognition of the donors who stepped up before and after the accident, according to a Seattle-based Bloodworks Northwest news release.

Bloodworks invites the community to take part by donating a pint of blood at centers or pop-up blood drives across the region to commemorate the vital role local donors play in emergency readiness. All donors who give on Dec. 18 each donor will receive a special pin.

“Our mission calls on all of us – our community – to be prepared and ready for anything,” said Bloodworks President and CEO Curt Bailey. “Having blood on the shelves is essential when unforeseeable emergencies or tragedies happen. Hospitals need donors to keep donating throughout the winter season and to make it a lifesaving habit.”

The 2017 Amtrak train tragic event demonstrated that when it comes to patient needs, there’s no such thing as a holiday as 150 blood donations were rushed to injured passengers. Demand for blood is continuous to support local patients having surgeries, trauma care and organ transplants – as well as patients needing blood for cancer treatment.

It typically takes 1,000 donors to meet community need. This month, Bloodworks needs an additional 300 donors a week to keep up with hospital requests for blood. Not sure whether you’re eligible to donate blood? There are some basic qualifications to donate—typically you’ll need to be at least 18, at least 110 pounds and in good health. But many other factors, like travel, tattoos, and vaccinations people think might disqualify them aren’t true.

Donating blood in December is also an important step in learning if you have Sars-CoV-2 (COVID 19) antibodies. That’s because Bloodworks is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies to help donors learn if they have the antibodies powerful in helping critically ill coronavirus patients through convalescent plasma donation. Test results will indicate if a person’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether you ever showed symptoms. Information at bloodworksnw.org.

About Dec. 18, 2017

The Amtrak 501 passenger train heading from Seattle to Portland tragically derailed, prompting immediate action by first responders – to aid everyone aboard the train. The injured passengers would be transported to local hospitals, and cared for with 150 blood donations made by our community. The care provided was only possible because Bloodworks shelves were stocked, weeks prior, with enough blood. The accident underscores the necessity for the community to be prepared for the next local emergency.

About Dec. 18, 2020

• First Lady Trudi Inslee will donate blood at Silverdale Donor Center

• Pop Up @ Kent Station includes Cancer Survivor & Kent Mayor Dana Ralph

• Pop Up @ South Sound Manor (Olympia) donors include state and local representatives ∙ Pop Up @ Graduate Hotel (Eugene, OR) donors include Mayor Lucy Vinis

• Buildings across the Northwest will be illuminated red to commemorate the day, including Lumen Field, T-Mobile Park, Columbia Tower, Hult Center (Eugene), Oregon Convention Center, Powell’s Books, and more.

• Statewide virtual blood drive through Dec. 18. Use the code “Hope” at your appointment check-in to have your donation counted towards goal of 501 donors.

Appointments and masks required. In accordance with current social distancing guidelines, no walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted onsite. Information about who can donate and where, is available at bloodworksnw.org.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in northwest

Assistant Secretary of Health Michele Roberts (left) and Health Secretary Umair Shah.
As COVID trends up again, state officials ‘strongly recommend’ masks

There are no new mandates in Washington. But “we really have an opportunity to get ahead of this.”

Screenshot of April 5 Edmonds City Council meeting. Inset (L-R): Mayor Mike Nelson and council members Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson. (City of Edmonds)
After long debate, Edmonds bans homeless people from living outside

The criminal law is unenforceable if no shelter is open within 35 miles. The City Council approved it over public outcry.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Sound Publishing archives
Cannabis DUI challenge rejected by state Supreme Court

Everett man argued the law must be tossed because legal limit for THC is not supported by science.

Tsr
No more stolen sisters: How WA is responding to missing and murdered Indigenous people

Across the state, 126 Indigenous people remain missing, with 31 having gone missing in King County.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 3): Behind the decision to charge a police officer with murder | King County Local Dive

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington wolf population continues to rise, report shows

In 2021, four new wolf packs were documented in four different counties.

A man who appears to be President Joe Biden is seen in the back seat of a car in the president’s motorcade, departing the Green River College after the president’s speech. Photo by Alex Bruell/Sound Publishing
Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
Judged by XII (Episode 2): Police officer’s history of violence | King County Local Dive

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Biden visits Seattle and Green River College during trip to Pacific Northwest

The president will stress infrastructure in Portland and Seattle while raising money for the Democratic Party.

The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
King County continues to grapple with alcohol rules in rural areas

Much of the debate surrounds wineries, breweries and distilleries operating as retail businesses.

Teaser
How a Ukrainian and Russian couple escaped a war zone

“We will never forget that sound. Boom. Boom,” said Valeriia Horodnycha, who has been staying in Mercer Island.