Save lives this summer | Editorial

Just about everyone is eligible to give blood and save lives.

It takes 1,000 donors a day to sustain a blood supply for patients in our Northwest community. There are a variety of ways for you to donate, depending on your blood type and preference. It’s a straightforward process and at the end, you get a cookie and juice!

If you are in good health, at least 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, you may donate whole blood every 56 days.

There are two chances coming up to donate blood locally with Bloodworks Northwest, which supports more than 90 hospitals in our region.

On San Juan Island, the next blood drive is on Aug. 8 from 11:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Mullis Community Senior Center. On Orcas, you can donate on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the public school cafeteria. You can schedule an appointment at or show up and wait for the next available slot.

Within hours of giving your blood, it is taken quickly to the lab for comprehensive testing and processing. Whole blood is processed and separated into component parts: red blood cells and plasma. Apheresis collections of platelets, red cells and plasma are tested and readied for use by patients. Usually within 24 hours, your blood is available in local hospitals. The final step is transfusion to patients in need.

According to Bloodworks, “Your donation could be used in trauma care for people in accidents, or in surgeries and organ transplants. It might be needed by people receiving treatment for cancer, bleeding disorders, blood diseases or immune system condition. Your donation can save lives and makes the community a better place in so many ways.”