blood drive

This week Governor Doug Ducey issued a proclamation for Arizona Blood Donation Week highlighting the importance of donating blood to save people’s lives. Back in 1969, an article titled “The Blood Bank as a Public Health Service” described blood donation as an altruistic service: one human helping another. The article suggested that benefits might extend to the donor too, depending on the results of screening tests.

Today the benefits of blood donation can extend to entire populations . Blood banks have been the first to detect Hepatitis C outbreaks in a community. They have provided estimates of people infected with emerging diseases like Chikungunya. They have maintained the safety of the blood supply by testing for Zika in high-risk areas and excluding potentially Zika-exposed donors.

The blood banks in Arizona are key partners of public health: screening for diseases, detecting early outbreaks and even doing some public health surveillance. The next time you donate blood, think about how your personal altruism benefits all of Arizona. Thanks to all of ADHS employees who are donating blood this week. Not only are you saving lives, you’re helping public health with its important mission to protect our citizens.

Updated September 8, 2016