The American Red Cross is asking blood donors to help prevent a summer shortage by making an appointment to roll up a sleeve and help save a life with a blood donation. With blood donation appointments currently lower than what is needed to maintain a sufficient blood supply, donors of all blood types are urged to schedule an appointment now, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative.
Patients don't get a vacation from needing blood. The need is constant. Donated blood is perishable. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days, so they must constantly be replenished. There is no substitute for donated blood.
As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to help ensure blood is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed. Donors can feel good knowing that by donating blood through the Red Cross they may be helping patients in their community or patients across the nation.
"Vacations and other summer activities often conflict with donation appointments for regular blood donors, which makes summer a very difficult time to collect blood donations," said Tricia Quinn, CEO Southwest Blood Services Region. "A blood donation now can help sustain an adequate blood supply this summer."
Utah blood drives:
July 30, 2 - 7 p.m. Castle Dale Stake, 32 North Center; Orangeville
July 22 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Emery Telcom, 455 East Highway 29
The Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients across the country. This can be challenging during the summer months of June, July and August, when an average of two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. This seasonal challenge can be overcome if just two more donors - above what is expected - make an appointment and give blood at each Red Cross blood drive the rest of the summer.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in Oklahoma), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.