Blood Bank of Alaska celebrates 50 years of service to Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Ak -- The Blood Bank of Alaska will celebrate their 50th anniversary this month, providing blood products to medical facilities and advocating to the community for blood donations.

Founded in 1962, the Blood Bank of Alaska's primary purpose is to supply blood needs for the sick and injured in Alaska.

For the past two years, the Blood Bank office in Fairbanks has done so in a new facility with state–of–the–art equipment.

"Our old center we could only have three chairs where we could do the donation drawing for donors,” said Felicia Rodriguez, Community Coordinator at the Fairbanks Blood Bank of Alaska.  “At our facility now, we have five chairs and one of those chairs includes a treatment chair where we can collect platelets, plasma and red cells with that technology."

Expansion into modern facilities means more available space for blood donation.

More blood donation means a constant awareness campaign to attract and retain volunteer donors.

If you are in general good health, you are a potential donor.

A screening process is required to ensure best safe practices for both recipient and donor and results are kept confidential.

"We do do vitals to include your blood pressure, your pulse your temperature and all of those have to be within certain ranges to ensure the safety of the donor," said Rodriguez

The Blood Bank is always in need of all types of blood, platelettes or plasma donation, but currently they are in great need of types O positive and, of course, O negative, which is often called the universal donor as patients of all blood types can receive O negative blood.

"We just ask that if you have 30–45 minutes of your day to stop by and donate, we'd greatly appreciate it just because there is always a need for donations" Rodriguez said.

Each Wednesday the Blood Bank conducts a blood drive in the local community and encourage businesses to call and arrange a campaign.

Individual donors should call ahead for best donation times.

The Blood Bank of Alaska Fairbanks office is open five days a week.

Contact information for the local office can be found on their website, a link can be found at webcenter11.com