HEALTH

Blood shortage is severe, says American Red Cross

Jun 22, 2021, 2:55 PM | Updated: 4:33 pm
sickle cell...
Concern over the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus have seen blood donation and drives fall far below what hospitals need. (Screen grab from American Red Cross video.)
(Screen grab from American Red Cross video.)

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross (Red Cross) reports a severe blood shortage across the nation. They need blood donors of all blood types, and especially platelets, to help as soon as possible. They request that donors make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible.

The shortage is due to what the Red Cross called an atypically high number of trauma cases and trips to hospital emergency rooms. In a statement, the Red Cross said that as compared to 2019, the demand for blood from trauma centers has risen by 10% in 2021.

“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Heidi Ruster, C.E.O., of Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region.

Demand from hospitals also high

The COVID-19 pandemic has a hand in the blood shortage as well. The Red Cross said that there is a need for increased blood transfusions because people who deferred care during the pandemic are now experiencing more advanced disease progression which leads to an increase in demand for transfusions.

Since March, 2021, the Red Cross said it’s distributed nearly 75,000 more blood products than they expected, to meet these needs.

Therefore, some hospitals are putting off elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes.

Giving blood after the COVID-19 pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have updated their recommendations for blood donations as COVID-19 vaccinations have become more prevalent among the community.

The Red Cross has adjusted its safety protocols as well. Utahns who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask or to socially distance. Those who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask and to socially distance.

In order to donate please bring a blood donor card or a driver’s license. Alternately, two other forms of identification are needed. 

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification in order to check in.

In Utah, those 16 years of age and older are eligible to donate blood. There may be height and weight requirements depending on a donor’s age.

How to schedule an appointment, and help reduce the blood shortage

People who would like to donate blood or platelets are asked to make an appointment either by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on an Alexa Echo device.

You can find blood drives and make an appointment to donate blood here.

Related reading:

 

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

working from home...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is the bad air the cause for people coughing are they catching regular illnesses?
12 hours ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
2 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
4 days ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
4 days ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
4 days ago
Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming mon...
Waverly Golden

As two federal pandemic emergency-assistance programs near an end, Cox has solutions

Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming months due to more job opportunities.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Blood shortage is severe, says American Red Cross