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Sleeves up: Time to donate blood

Communities that offer the most blood usually get the most opportunities to give it. Count Federal Way in that category.

Puget Sound Blood Center has scheduled four blood drives for April in Federal Way “because people there are so supportive,” said Keith Warnack, spokesman for the blood center.

The center expects to receive approximately 2,200 pints of blood from Federal Way this year. The projection is based on past participation by organizations and the size of their memberships.

Last year, 1,578 pints of blood were donated in Federal Way to the blood center. In the first three months of 2002, 15 businesses, schools and churches have hosted a combined 33 blood drives out of the 44 drives that have been promised so far by organizations here.

The next drive for the Puget Sound Blood Center is scheduled for Tuesday at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. Anyone in good health and weighing at least 110 pounds, including children as young as 16 and 17 (with parental permission), can give blood from 2 to 8 p.m.

The drill will be repeated April 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Federal Way Regional Library.

The library, which hosts six events per year, St. Theresa’s and Virginia Mason Federal Way, site of a drive March 22, are some of Puget Sound Blood Center’s most frequent drive organizers, Warnack said.

Another blood drive in Federal Way is also scheduled for next Tuesday by Cascade Regional Blood Services from 2 to 7 p.m. at Sherwood Elementary School.

Cascade serves hospitals in the south Puget Sound area, including St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way and the trauma center at Mary Bridge Chlidren’s Hospital in Tacoma. Cascade officials say 200 donors are needed each day to supply the hospitals, and the Tacoma-based blood bank has a “critical shortage.”

Locally and nationwide, blood bank supplies are low.

“We’re never flush,” said Warnack. But Puget Sound Blood Center also tries not to have too big a supply on hand, since 42 days is the shelf life of individual blood donations, he noted.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast last year, as donors rushed to give blood, Puget Sound Blood Center officials asked people to postpone their blood donations in order to spread out the supply.

Only about 6 percent of eligible adults donate blood, according to blood bank officials.

Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and editor@fedwaymirror.com.

Donors needed

Two blood drives are scheduled for next Tuesday in Federal Way: from 2 to 7 p.m. at Sherwood Elementary School, 34600 12th Ave. SW., and from 2 to 8 p.m. at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, 3939 331st St. SW.

Another drive is set for April 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Federal Way Regional Library.

Donors should drink lots of water or juice and have eaten a meal before giving blood. Cascade Regional Blood Services, sponsor of the drive at Sherwood, asks that first-time donors bring picture ID.

Additional information is available from Cascade at (253) 383-2553 www.cascadebloodcenters.org, and from Puget Sound Blood Center at 1-800-398-7888 and www.psbc.org.

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