The 2017 Amtrak 501 train derailment demonstrated that when it comes to emergency needs, the Pacific Northwest blood supply needs to be stocked and at the ready community ready.

Governors Kate Brown and Jay Inslee have recognized this coming Saturday, Dec. 18, 2020 as Washington and Oregon Blood Donor Day in recognition of the donors who stepped up before and after the accident.

Bloodworks Northwest is inviting the community to take part by donating a pint of blood at centers or pop-up blood drives across the region to commemorate the vital role local donors play in emergency readiness. All donors who give on Dec. 18 will each receive a special pin.

Having blood on the shelves is essential when unforeseeable emergencies or tragedies happen.

The 2017 Amtrak train tragic event demonstrated that when it comes to patient needs, theres no such thing as a holiday. Demand for blood is continuous to support local patients having surgeries, trauma care and organ transplants as well as patients needing blood for cancer treatment. It typically takes 1,000 donors to meet community need. This month, Bloodworks needs an additional 300 donors a week to keep up with hospital requests for blood. Not sure whether youre eligible to donate blood? There are some basic qualifications to donatetypically youll need to be at least 18, at least 110 pounds and in good health. But many other factors, like travel, tattoos, and vaccinations people think might disqualify them arent true.

Our mission calls on all of us our community to be prepared and ready for anything, said Bloodworks President and CEO Curt Bailey. Hospitals need donors to keep donating throughout the winter season and to make it a lifesaving habit.

Donating blood in December is also an important step in learning if you have Sars-CoV-2 (COVID- 19) antibodies. Thats because Bloodworks is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies to help donors learn if they have the antibodies powerful in helping critically ill coronavirus patients through convalescent plasma donation.

About December 18, 2017On December 18, 2017 the Amtrak 501 passenger train heading from Seattle to Portland tragically derailed, prompting immediate action by first responders to aid everyone aboard the train. The injured passengers would be transported to local hospitals, and cared for with 150 blood donations made by our community. The care provided was only possible because Bloodworks shelves were stocked, weeks prior, with enough blood. The accident underscores the necessity for the community to be prepared for the next local emergency.

About December 18, 2020

Additional Resources:For the latest information on COVID-19 please visit the CDC website, Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 main page, and Oregon Health Authority.

Bloodworks Donor Centers and Pop-Up Centers:Appointments and information at or 800-398-7888. See our list of Donor Centers and Pop-Up locations.

Test results will indicate if a persons immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether you ever showed symptoms. Information at

About Bloodworks NorthwestBloodworks Northwest is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients at hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled at

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2017 Amtrak tragedy becomes call-to-action for Blood Donor Day this Sat., Dec. 18 - SeaTac Blog

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