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American Red Cross seeks blood donations to shore up dwindling supplies

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 13:39:13-04

MURRAY, Utah — With blood donations down in Utah and across the country, the American Red Cross is looking for people to donate to avoid a possible shortage.

Summertime is when many people are on vacation, and places that conduct blood drives like schools and universities are closed, making it a challenge to keep blood supplies current.

But the need for a quality supply of blood never goes away, and blood has a shelf life of when it can be safely used.

Whole blood is only good for six weeks, and blood donations in Utah are down nearly 20 percent.

"So we’re working our best to get ahead of that and encourage people to give, to donate now... in the summer and holiday periods, it’s really important to come and donate blood,” said Regional CEO of Red Cross Utah, Heidi Ruster.

Ruster wants people to make donating blood a regular thing, which is easy to do with the Red Cross app to serve as a reminder.

It also informs people whether a waiting period is needed if they've engaged in activities deemed risky for donations, such as getting a tattoo from an unlicensed parlor.

One other feature is being able to see where donated blood is received.

“It’s really cool to see people say, ‘hey, my last donation of blood went to a children’s hospital',” added Ruster, who says that one donation can make a difference in up to three people's lives.

CLICK HERE to access the American Red Cross website to ask questions, set up appointments, and remind people when it's time to donate, helping to keep Utah's blood supply healthy.