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Scott G. Winterton, KSL

Amazon, Facebook join Red Cross 'Missing Types' campaign; Utahns urged to donate blood

By Ashley Imlay, KSL | Posted - Jun. 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

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TAYLORSVILLE — If you notice letters missing from major brand names, it's part of a Red Cross campaign to encourage people to help patients who need blood transfusions.

And the Red Cross is encouraging Utahns to donate blood through dozens of drives taking place this month across the state.

As part of the Missing Types campaign, the letters A, B and O have disappeared from some brand advertising, social media pages, websites and signs. Those letters represent blood types that are essential for providing care to patients, according to the Red Cross.

Just last month, the foundation says it experienced a "critical" shortage of Type O blood.

"When this happens, medical procedures could be delayed because blood products are not available," said Cliff Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services, in a statement.

Only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. donate blood, according to the Red Cross.

According to a 2019 survey conducted for the Red Cross, 33 percent of the U.S. "has never considered that blood may not be available when a loved one needs it." Donations of clothes, money and food are instead the main ways the public donated last year to help others in need, the Red Cross said.

More than half of the public think they need to know their blood type to give blood — a myth that may be getting in the way of donating, the report said.

American Red Cross phlebotomist Alex White holds a needle in Brock Liston's arm steady as Liston donates blood at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (Photo: Scott G. Winterton, KSL)

"Potential blood donors do not need to know their blood type before giving blood. After individuals give blood, the Red Cross provides each donor their blood type," according to the foundation.

The Missing Types campaign, launched for the first time last summer, motivated 320,000 new and former donors to give blood.

Brands participating in the campaign this year include Amazon, Facebook, Google, Adobe, IBM and many others.

Those in good health, over 110 pounds and at least age 17, with any blood type, can donate at a Red Cross blood drive. To donate, bring two forms of identification.

Dozens of blood drives will be held throughout Utah during the rest of June. To find events near you, visit the Red Cross website.


Ashley Imlay

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