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New blood donor app designed to attract Millennials

Bloodworks Northwest launched a new mobile app in Eugene on Thursday.

Posted: Sep. 20, 2018 7:01 PM
Updated: Sep. 20, 2018 7:15 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- If you want to donate blood but need some help figuring out how to do it, there's now an app for that.

Bloodworks Northwest launched a new mobile app in Eugene on Thursday. The app developers said they're hoping it'll help reach a group of important potential blood donors: millennials.

It's called the "Bloodworks Donor App" and you can download it onto any smartphone. This new tool lets you customize your contact preferences, shows a map of blood drives closest to you, and lets you track your donations and how many lives you've impacted. You can also make an online group with friends.

"I think an app is definitely helpful," said Kelly Mason, a grad student at the University of Oregon. "You can plan groups of friends to go donate which is helpful because sometimes it's scary to go yourself. Every time I've donated it's been with other friends."

Mason said she has donated in the past and thinks this new app will motivate others too. Staff at Lane Blood Center agree.

"We firmly believe if we get them young, they'll be donors for life," said Mary Anne Wagley, a phlebotomist at the center. 

Wagley said the app is targeted towards millennials because they need more of them to donate. She said baby boomers make up the bulk of donations in America and the group is slowly aging out.

"There's no substitute for blood, so we need donors to come in," Wagley said. "We need to save lives." 

Wagley said Lane Blood Center's blood supply is low right now, and they're specifically in dire need of O Negative blood.

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