Tragedy Becomes Call to Action on Blood Donor Day in Washington and Oregon, December 18


The 2017 Amtrak 501 train derailment near DuPont demonstrated that when it comes to urgent needs, the Pacific Northwest’s blood supply must be on-going and ready – ready for the community.

Governors Kate Brown and Jay Inslee recognized Friday, December 18 as Washington and Oregon Blood Donor Day in recognition of donors who mobilized before and after the accident, according to a press release from Bloodworks Northwest, based in Seattle.

Bloodworks invites the community to participate 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 preparedness. All donors who give on December 18 each will receive a special pin.

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

The tragic 2017 Amtrak train event demonstrated that when it comes to patient needs, vacations do not exist as 150 blood donations were shipped to injured passengers. The demand for blood is ongoing to support local patients undergoing surgery, trauma care and organ transplants, as well as patients in need of blood for cancer treatment.

Usually 1,000 donors are needed to meet the needs of the community. This month, Bloodworks needs an additional 300 donors per week to meet hospital demands for blood. Are you not sure if you are allowed to donate blood? There are some basic qualifications for donating. As a general rule of thumb, you should be at least 18 years old, at least 110 pounds, and in good health. But many other factors, like travel, tattoos, and vaccinations that people think might disqualify them, are not true.

Donating blood in December is also an important step to find out if you have Sars-CoV-2 (COVID 19) antibodies. This is because Bloodworks tests all donations for COVID-19 antibodies to help donors know if they have the strong antibodies to help critically ill coronavirus patients through donating convalescent plasma. The test results will show whether a person’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, whether you have had symptoms in the past. Information on

About December 18, 2017

The Amtrak 501 passenger train from Seattle to Portland tragically derailed, prompting first responders to take immediate action – to help everyone on the train. Injured passengers would be transported to local hospitals and treated with 150 blood donations from our community. The treatment was only possible because the shelves of Bloodworks were stocked, weeks before, with enough blood. The accident underscores the need for the community to prepare for the next local emergency.

Around December 18, 2020

• First Lady Trudi Inslee to donate blood at the Silverdale Donor Center

• Pop Up @ Kent Station features cancer survivor and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph

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

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

• Virtual blood drive statewide until December 18th. Use the code “Hope” when registering your appointment to have your donation counted towards the goal of 501 donors.

Appointments and masks compulsory. In accordance with current social distancing guidelines, no visitors, persons or persons under the age of 16 are allowed on site. Information on who can donate and where is available on

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