Blood donations tend to go down around holiday weekends like the upcoming Memorial Day. And the need tends to go up, because people are out and about and things sometimes go wrong.
So if you haven't recently given blood and you're willing and able, this is a good time.
Laura Carpenter, communications director for the Blood Bank of Alaska, pointed out that a current patient needs about 25 units of Type O plasma every other day. That can exhaust supplies in a hurry.
The blood bank collects and supplies blood products and lab work throughout Alaska. Given Alaskans' typical leap into the first holiday weekend of summer, we can expect high demand for fresh blood.
Fortunately, we can fill the need.
The blood bank's main donation center on Laurel Street in Anchorage will be open on Memorial Day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but to save time Carpenter advises donors to call and schedule an appointment.
Donors also can give at the Dimond Center facility -- on Saturday, Dimond will be open while the main center is closed.
Donations both before and after the holiday will be needed. A blood drive will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Blood is a gift that is always welcome, always needed. Around a busy holiday weekend, to stock up before and restock after can be vital to keep our neighbors alive.
And you never know when that pint you give may come back to you.
BOTTOM LINE: To give blood is to give life. More information and a schedule of blood drives is available at www.bloodbankofalaska.org. For more information and to make an appointment, you can call 222-5630.