Blood lines: Where our blood donations go

There are an estimated 29,000 registered blood donors in Snohomish County. Each year, about 26,400 units are collected at the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Everett donation center, one of two collection sites in Snohomish County for the non-profit agency. The other is in Lynnwood, where about 21,015 units are collected annually.

The Puget Sound Blood Center has 11 collection sites in Western Washington, spread between Vancouver and Bellingham.

Donations typically decline during holiday periods. So last year a special appeal was made for regular donors to give blood during December and the first week of January. That helped prevent a shortage when snow and ice later prevented people from donating, said David Larsen, spokesman for the Puget Sound Blood Center. “It’s a very dynamic process to manage a stable supply,” he said.

The average annual amount of blood collected by the Puget Sound Blood Center is about 200,000 units. About 90 percent of donations are whole blood.

The cost of collecting, testing, processing and delivering a unit of blood, which is equivalent to about a pint, is about $250.

The Puget Sound Blood Center serves 70 hospitals and clinics in 14 counties. In a typical month, it ships about 12,000 units to hospitals in King County and about 5,500 units to other hospitals in Western Washington.

Where it goes

Top recipient hospitals for Puget Sound Blood Center units:

1. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle

2. Virginia Mason, Seattle

3. Swedish First Hill, Seattle

4. Harborview Medical Center, Seattle

5. Southwest Medical Center, Vancouver

6. Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton

7. Providence Regional Medical Center Everett

8. Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Bellevue

9. Providence St. Peter, Olympia

10. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Who can give blood

Anyone in good health, is at least 18 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days. Teens 16 to 17 may donate with a signed consent from a legal guardian.

Among other restrictions, people cannot donate if they have a cold or the flu or have been diagnosed with hepatitis. Women must wait six weeks after a birth, miscarriage or abortion.

For more information, call 800-398-7888 or check the Puget Sound Blood Center’s website at www.psbc.org.

Source: Puget Sound Blood Center

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