End the Year with Cheer: Giving ‘the perfect gift’ by donating blood

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 8:52 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Blood Bank of Alaska receives roughly 30,000 donations every year, but it can always use more help to prepare for every contingency.

There is a natural aversion to blood and needles that makes some people squeamish, said Bob Scanlon, the CEO of the Blood Bank of Alaska, but donating blood makes a difference.

“An individual unit of blood can potentially save three lives,” he added.

The Blood Bank of Alaska provides blood to hospitals across the state, it also provides plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to help those suffering from the virus.

Many Alaskans think of donating blood when it comes to emergencies like car accidents or the Nov. 30, 2018, 7.1 magnitude earthquake. “Ten minutes after the shaking stopped, our switchboard lit up from hospitals needing blood and platelets,” Scanlon said.

That was a false alarm, there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

Blood is actually used in hospitals for daily needs like treating some cancers or helping a soon-to-be-mother during a difficult delivery. Around one out of three Alaskans will need a unit of blood at some point in their lives, according to data from the Blood Bank.

Scanlon said donating blood is “the most selfless gift” one person can give another.

“Think about the beauty of this thing,” he added. “You have one individual coming in donating and it will be given to somebody who they will never meet, they will never know who it goes to. It is just the perfect gift.”

Blood Bank of Alaska centers are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Juneau.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.