By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa | The Register-Guard |
Bloodworks Northwest is hoping to draw in fresh blood from a younger crowd with a new smartphone app.
The organization launched the iPhone and Android app about a week ago. It allows users to find local blood drives and schedule an appointment to donate.
It also keeps track of how much blood a person has donated and how many lives they may have impacted with their donation. A donor also can see how much blood friends who use the app have donated.
“This app is a critical step in reaching our donors. As the older generation of blood donors ages out, we need to have a mechanism for reaching our younger donors in a medium that they are comfortable with,” said Annette Casper, the donor services area manager for Bloodworks Northwest in Eugene. “Blood products are always in demand across the country. Bloodworks Northwest services over 90 hospitals across the Pacific Northwest, including our local hospitals. We need to collect 800 units per day in order to just meet the demand of our hospitals.”
The largest population of consistent blood donors are baby boomers, who are getting older and developing health problems that prevent them from being good donors, Casper said. Currently, there aren’t enough younger donors to replace the baby boomers who can no longer donate blood.
According to a Harris Poll commissioned by Bloodworks Northwest, nearly 1 in 5 millennials who have never given blood say it’s because they don’t know how or where to donate.
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