SALT LAKE CITY — To keep blood supplies from reaching critically low levels, the American Red Cross is asking for donors to supply blood to save lives.
The American Red Cross currently supplies 31 hospitals throughout Utah and normally can provide 440 pints of blood per day for those hospitals — approximately 14 to 15 pints per hospital each day — but donations have been too low to keep up with the demand
"We have half as much as we did last year because there haven't been that many people donating." said John Petersen, Communications Manager of the Lewis & Clark Blood Services Region for the American Red Cross.
All blood types are appreciated, but there is a specific need for O negative, which is often called the universal donor, for its compatibility with all other types, as well as O positive, B negative and A negative. Donors are also encouraged to double the difference their donation can make by donating, using the double red cell technology where available.
We have half as much as we did last year because there haven't been that many people donating.
There are four American Red Cross locations in Utah — Salt Lake City, Layton, Orem and St. George — where one can donate blood.
The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers as well. If you do not physically qualify to donate blood, there are other ways to help. "If you can't donate, you can bring someone who can donate, or you can sit at the reception desk and help check people in," Petersen said. Blood Drives are also put on by both the American Red Cross, as well as hosted by individual corporations.
Eligible donors are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), who weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health are encouraged. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
The Salt Lake City location is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday June 12 between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. To learn more about the blood drive or to schedule an appointment, call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).
The Lewis & Clark Blood Services Region oversees operations in Utah, Montana and Idaho and parts of Wyoming and Oregon.