Blood bank needs donors during the holidays

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — In an effort to combat a holiday lull in the donation rate, the Blood Bank of Alaska is making a push to encourage all eligible donors to get out and save a life.

The low donation rate happens every year, the result of a busy holiday shopping and travel season during which donors seem to have fewer opportunities to take an hour out of their day to donate — all of which work to squeeze supply. At the same time, hospitals are often in greater need of blood during the holiday season.

The blood bank is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but hospitals aren't, so the demand for blood during the low supply season doesn't cease.

Westley Dahlgren, Director of Collections and Recruitment for the Blood Bank of Alaska says that due to the state's geographic vulnerability, having a healthy supply is critical.

“Given Alaska's geographic remoteness, like we are pretty isolated, and getting in any blood imported into Alaska obviously would take time," Dahlgren said, "and so insuring that we do have a stable supply of blood in quantities large enough to respond should there be an event that we need to is important.”

The Blood Bank is encouraging donors of all types to stop in, and specifically O positive, O negative and platelet donors.

In order to help restock and build up the supply during the holidays, the Blood Bank of Alaska is running a promotion this weekend, giving away special items to holiday donors.

The Blood Bank will also be open on Sunday this week.