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Bend man donates blood for first time in years

'Old blood is just as good as young blood, I guess!'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A total of 142 people signed up to donate blood during Tuesday evening’s Red Cross Telethon, and some wasted no time fulfilling their promise -- even if it's been a while. 

NewsChannel 21 caught up with one of the donors on Wednesday who said his wife signed him for the blood drive while watching the telethon. 

William Plank, 79, of Bend, said he used to donate blood often, when he was younger. Now retired, Plank said he was unsure whether the Red Cross would still accept his blood.

“I did a little reading and found out there is no age restriction,” Plank said. “Old blood is just as good as young blood, I guess!”

His wife also signed up to be a blood donor on Wednesday. However, she was told she would have to return on another for an additional screening.

Plank said after speaking with a friend who also donated blood, he decided it was time to contribute again.

“We just wanted to help out,” Plank said. “I heard there was a shortage, so we just wanted to help out.”

Bend / Central Oregon / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



  1. It is amazing that the blood is donated free to the Red Cross, but our hospitals are charged hundreds of dollars for each unit, which means they cost even more to patients. The Red Cross will claim they only get a cost recovery on each unit. The staff on blood drives get paid at or more often below what their peers at hospitals and clinics are paid locally. There is testing done in Portland to each unit, as well as breaking down most units into separate components such as plasma, but this is fully automated and very low cost. Other costs such as supplies or shipping are done through the lowest cost bidders. The truth is that blood collection is a big dollar business. The Pacific Northwest area is a net exporter of blood to other parts of the country, and the Red Cross covets contracts with large hospitals in areas such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas. If the questions were asked and the Red Cross were truly transparent on their costs, you’d see huge management salaries on the part of a large bureaucracy at the Regional and National Levels. That is why the market share for the Red Cross has been declining for years, and their smaller, more efficient competitors (such as Lane County Community Bloodbank) are growing.

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