Red Cross offering doughnuts, gift cards as blood supply remains 'dangerously low'

American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern, center talks to a donor during a visit to a Red Cross blood drive at BYU in Provo on Sept. 24, 2021. The Red Cross is facing a shortage of blood donations in early 2022, and is asking for more people to donate.

American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern, center talks to a donor during a visit to a Red Cross blood drive at BYU in Provo on Sept. 24, 2021. The Red Cross is facing a shortage of blood donations in early 2022, and is asking for more people to donate. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross has seen a generous response to its reports in early January that the need for blood was dire, but there is still a critical need for supply.

"While there has been a significant and encouraging response to the dire need for blood across the nation, the American Red Cross needs more people to give in the weeks ahead to recover from its worst blood shortage in more than a decade," a Tuesday press release from the Utah and Nevada Red Cross region said.

In January, the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis alert. Its website notes that the current blood shortage is the worst in over a decade, and is forcing some hospitals in the United States to defer major surgeries.

The local Red Cross said that although it saw a good response from that call to action, the organization is still very much in need. It continues to see multiple issues in getting donations, including severe winter storms which led to the cancellation of hundreds of blood drives and about 6,500 donations.

To incentivize donations, and thank people who are willing to give, participating Krispy Kreme locations will give a dozen free doughnuts to anyone who presents a donation sticker or digital donor card through the end of January.

Additionally, anyone who gives blood through the Red Cross in February will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

"As February approaches, and the effects from the spread of the omicron variant and winter weather persist, people are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets in the weeks ahead," the press release said.

Appointments can be made on the Red Cross Blood Donor App or online, at the Red Cross website.

In addition to searching for donors, the Red Cross is also recruiting more blood collection employees and blood drive volunteers in Utah.

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Emily Ashcraft joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. She covers courts and legal affairs, as well as health, faith and religion news.

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