SEATTLE - The recent mass shootings in New Zealand have highlighted the need for steady supplies of blood year round in case of a medical emergency.
This comes as blood donations continue to drop in this country to the point where federal health officials are now comparing the problem to the opioid epidemic.
Bloodworks Northwest CEO & President Dr. James AuBuchon is heading to Washington DC next week where he and federal health officials will address lawmakers about he calls a growing national problem.
Across the country, about 60 percent of regular donors are over 40.
45 percent are 50 plus, baby boomers who health officials fear are starting to age out of the donor pool.
“We are concerned that this could grow to a point that people don’t have blood when they need it,” said Dr. AuBuchon. “We need 900 donors a day and we are not getting that.”
Last month, KIRO 7's Amy Clancy reported on how local blood banks lost up to 600 donations a day because winter weather kept many people away.
To help keep donation levels steady year round, Bloodworks launched a mobile app last fall targeting millennial donors.
It is designed to help users locate blood banks nearby, right on their smart phones, as well schedule a date and time to donate.
KIRO 7 talked with Randy Cantrell who comes into Bloodworks almost every 2 months to give blood. He said it’s been a life-long habit inspired by his father who was a doctor at Harborview.
“I just think it’s what you need to do it’s for everybody,” said Cantrell. “You might need it at some point.”
Click here for information on how to give blood.
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