The Inland Northwest is in critical need of blood donations


SPOKANE, Wash. - The Inland Northwest is in critical need of blood donations.

Spokane's blood bank, Vitalant, says they always see a drop in donations in the summer, but never as soon as Memorial weekend. Vitalent is the sole blood supplier for more than 35 hospitals in our region, and they need your help today.

"People tend to think someone else is coming forward, someone else is taking care of the need and right now, that just isn't the case," Tesia Hummer, Vitalant Donor Recruitment Manager, said.

It's true, donating blood can save three lives. Hummer says what people might not know, is that one in seven people that enter a hospital, need blood, and it's not always trauma patients

"It's the pregnant mother, it's the father who was diagnosed with cancer, it's someone who needs a heart transplant, or an organ transplant, who needs that blood to get them through it,” Hummer said.

Vitalant has a lot of regular donors, and for Nina Daadouch, donating blood is personal.

"I had a family friend quite a while ago who passed away from leukemia, so I know that a lot of cancer patients need the platelets. My body has an abundance of it, why not," Daadouch said.

Daadouch donates every two weeks, and she said if anyone's nervous about donating, it doesn’t hurt, and she always feels comfortable.

Hummer said when disaster strikes, their lobby is filled with people ready to donate. But right now, if there was a major tragedy, it would take days to process all the blood donations, and sometimes, days aren't quick enough.

"It's the blood that's already on the shelves that saving lives when it happens," Hummer said.

It takes one hour to donate blood, but only ten minutes of your time is spent in the chair.

Vitalant needs a minimum of 200 donors a day to meet the needs of hospitals in our region. They'll accept walk-ins, but making appointments online is easier on the staff.

"People can even donate on their lunch break. You just need to make that hour in your day," Hummer said.

Take a look down at your arm. See that nice healthy vein? You're probably able to donate. The downtown Vitalant office is open 7 days a week, so Hummer says come on in, and save some lives.

Story and photos from KHQ.com