Red Cross: The need is constant


ST. GEORGE – Because of the short lifespan of donated blood, the Red Cross seeks to answer the constant need for donations through donor centers and blood drives.

According to John Peterson, public relations spokesman for the Red Cross, only 38 percent of all potential donors are able to donate usable blood. The remainder is rejected due to things like an illnesses they may have contracted or medication they may currently be taking.  Of this 38 percent, only eight percent actually donate blood in times of non-emergency.

“Our challenge is that the need is constant,” Peterson said.

When a person donates blood, Peterson said that one pint of “whole blood” was taken from the donor. This whole blood is then sent to Salt Lake City for processing where it is separated into three usable parts: red blood cells, plasma and platelets.  This way, Peterson said, the blood from one person has the potential to help save the lives of three separate people.

Red blood cells can be stored for up to 42 days. Plasma is frozen and can last as long as a year. The platelets only last for five days.

When asked how people in Southern Utah answered the call for donations, Peterson praised them.

“People in Utah and St. George especially, are very responsive to the need for donated blood,” Peterson said.

Not everyone goes to the Donors Center to donate, however. Many times a year, blood drives are held at different locations throughout the area. One such blood drive will be held at Alliance Home Health and Hospice on Sept. 13.

Harmony Judd, a coordinator for the event, said that the Red Cross likes to have hosted blood drives in order to reach new demographics.

The blood drive will be held in the conference room of Alliance Home Health and Hospice on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The address is 492 East Riverside Suite 3B in St. George. For more information or to set up an appointment, call Harmony Judd at 435-656-2889.

For anyone interested in hosting a blood drive or learning more about the St. George Donor Center, additional information can be found on the Red Cross’ website.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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  • Matty September 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hmm. Perhaps if the Red Cross would actually accept blood from healthy homosexual people, this problem could be solved. But you can’t be gay and donate blood, apparently. Even if you are perfectly healthy.

    • Shawn September 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Some day the people will get over it and move on. Just like they did with Blacks. Everyone just needs to get over themselves and move on with there own life. What is the sayind Judge not yet ye shall be judged. Or something along those lines. What gays do in there life dosen’t make your life any less important.

    • Jon Martin September 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Very well said Matty, and I like Shawn’s response too. I think we’re starting to see the homophobia slowly but surely dissapate. Even here in Southern Utah you have a growing LGBT community and other minorities, so we’re seeing change here.

    • Jon Martin September 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      I mean now you have a large advocacy organization from Salt Lake City opening a chapter here, Equality Utah, I’m not sure if your familiar with them but their huge up in SLC. They just put a billboard at the 15 northbound saying “LGBT Let’s Talk Equality” 5 years ago that would have been impossible to achieve in this town, things are changing. And we’re all here to witness it.

  • Not a Mormon September 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    It’s a ridiculous system as it is…..people can lie whenever they want and still donate blood. All blood is screened for diseases, so it really doesn’t matter unless you have a disease.

  • Mike September 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I used to donate regularly with the Red Cross, until I started getting phone calls they day I became eligible to donate again… it’s worse than a telemarketer. Then, when you agree to stop in, they want to schedule an appointment but are only open for 4 hours a week (exaggeration, I know).

    If they’re going to be bugging people and make things inconvenient, you’d think they’d allow more people to donate (since, as Not a Mormon Mentioned, it’s all screened anyway).

    Beggars can’t be choosers, right? Apparently they can.

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