Red Cross urgently needs blood donors

The American Red Cross of Utah is asking residents to give a potentially life-saving blood donation. Photo courtesy American Red Cross.

<span class=”s1″>With donations of all blood types down about 8 percent in recent months the American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“We understand this time of the year a lot of people go on vacation,” said Kimberly Houk of the Red Cross Salt Lake City office. “We have a lot of high school students who make up a big portion of our donators and when they go on summer break they’re not really coming in to donate blood. </span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“As we know, the need never goes down but in summer when everybody gets busy they don’t come in donate as they usually do.”</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>That has led to an expectation of a decline of as many as 80,000 fewer donations  than what is typical during the summer.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Another factor was Independence Day falling on Friday and that reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Houk said eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“O negative is the universal blood type. That means if emergency personnel roll up on an accident scene they don’t have time to test blood and they may need to get a transfusion in someone immediately to save a life.”</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>By mid-July the Red Cross had reached the mid-point of a campaign “100 Days of Summer, 100 Days of Hope.” Blood and platelet donations are needed now and for the remainder of the summer.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“It’s going well,” said Houk, “but we’re not meeting our projections. We need to fulfill our hospital contracts. They need a certain amount of blood on hand at all times, for emergency situations. </span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“We remind everybody that one donation has the potential to save three lives if we use your whole blood, your red blood cells and platelets.”</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Houk said there is a constant need for platelets because they have a shelf life of just five days.</span>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Cache Valley include July 24 in Logan at the Cache Chamber of Commerce office, July 30 at the Smithfield LDS South Stake Center, August 4 at Paragon Medical in Smithfield and August 22 at the Nibley Stake Center.</span>

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