ST. GEORGE — The American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations in early July, but despite thousands of people who have responded, there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage. Eligible donors of all types are urgently needed.
Nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed were given through the Red Cross in May and June, prompting the emergency call for donations in early July. The shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days.
After issuing the emergency call, the Red Cross has experienced a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July. About half of the appointments were scheduled by donors using the free Blood Donor App or at the Red Cross website.
However, blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.
“The blood supply is like a cell phone battery, it constantly needs recharging,” said Carmen Madsen, donor recruitment director of the Lewis and Clark Blood Services Region. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”
As a special thank you, those who come out to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross July 26 through Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target eGiftCard.
How to help
Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
See listing of donation opportunities by city at the end of this report.
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the Blood Donor App, visit the Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit the Red Cross Rapid Pass webpage and follow the instructions on the site.
How blood and platelet donations help
Blood shortages could lead to delays in patient care, something Arthur Bourget learned firsthand after being diagnosed with leukemia in July 2007. When he arrived for his second blood transfusion, he was told the blood he needed was not available. He waited eight hours for blood to arrive and to receive the transfusion he needed that day.
“One thing that I committed to my wife was that I was going to beat leukemia, no matter what, and I was going to do that,” said Bourget. “But what I wasn’t going to be able to do was survive without the blood that I needed.”
Bourget went into remission following a successful treatment plan, which included 28 blood and 34 platelet transfusions. He has been a faithful advocate for blood donations ever since.
“If it wasn’t for the generosity of volunteer blood donors, I would not be here today,” he said. “My daughter would not have a father, and my wife would not have a husband. Thank you and please give blood. You may never know the life you have saved, but I guarantee they will never forget you.”
Upcoming blood donation opportunities through Aug. 15:
- Aug. 9: 1-6:30 p.m., Hurricane Community Center, 63 S. 100 West.
- La Verkin
- July 28: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., La Verkin City Center, 111 S Main.
- St. George
- July 26: 2-7 p.m., Boulder Ridge Utah Stake – 2450 Bldg., 2079 E. 2450 South.
- July 28: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- July 28: 11 a.m.-3:15 p.m., Wells Fargo Bank, 1 South Main St.
- July 31: 1-6 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 1: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 2: 1-7 p.m., St. George Morningside Stake, 900 South River Road.
- Aug. 4: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 7: 1-6 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 8: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 11: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 11: 12:30-6 p.m., Foremaster Bldg., 1424 Foremaster Dr.
- Aug. 14: 1-6 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 16: 1:30-7 p.m., St. George Blood Donation Center, 476 E. Riverside Drive, Suite B6.
- Aug. 10: 1-6:30 p.m., Washington Field Stake, 1295 S. 3000 E.
- Cedar City
- Aug. 3: 2-7 p.m., Cedar City Canyon View Stake, 1985 North Main.
- Aug. 7: 1-6:30 p.m., Christ the King Catholic Church, 690 South Cove Drive.
- Aug. 8: 2-7:30 p.m., Enoch Stake Center, 2233 E. Village Green Road.
- Castle Dale
- July 27: Noon to 4:30 p.m., Emery Medical Center, 90 West Main.
- Aug. 5: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Moab Utah Stake, 701 Locust Lane.
- Aug. 11: 1-7 p.m., Fillmore Utah Stake, 300 West Center.
- July 27: 1:30-7 p.m., Monroe Stake, 49 E 200 North.
- Aug. 14: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Redmond Minerals, 2725 North 100 West.
- Aug. 9: 2-7 p.m., Loa Stake Center, 20 South 100 West.
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