World Blood Donor Day is Thursday, an annual event thanking active blood donors and encouraging new donors, especially younger people and those unfamiliar with how organizations like Bloodworks Northwest collect lifesaving blood for patients.
One factor that deters some people from giving blood is surprisingly common. It’s called trypanophobia – discomfort or fear of needles, blood draws and injections. A national study by Harris Poll on behalf of Bloodworks recently found that about 30 percent of non-donors noted “discomfort with needles” to explain their decision.
“We have great compassion, gratitude and respect for all our donors,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks. “The brief needle encounter our donors experience involves professional staff using the highest-quality technology available to maximize comfort, safety and security.”
Getting more comfortable with routine medical procedures like vaccinations, flu-shots, medical testing and dental care is a positive goal for many. “Even regular donors can be uneasy about needles, but knowing their generous gift could save someone’s life – and have a huge community impact — motivates them,” AuBuchon said. “When donating blood reduces trypanophobia it also helps folks feel more comfortable about accessing the medical and dental care needed to keep them and their families healthy.”
The need for blood becomes more urgent during the upcoming summer months when schools are out and families are on vacation. It takes about 800 donors a day to meet the needs of the nearly 100 hospitals depending on Bloodworks. Bloodworks is urging donors of all ages to schedule an appointment online at schedule.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. To find a mobile drive near your work or home, visit bloodworksnw.org.