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The American Red Cross of Utah celebrates laboratory team

Apr 27, 2022, 1:31 PM | Updated: 1:32 pm
American Red Cross honors laboratory workers...
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

SALT LAKE CITY — The week of April 24 is the 46th annual Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. Throughout the week, the American Red Cross of Utah is celebrating local scientists, technicians, and medical professionals who collect and test donated blood. 

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is a celebration to recognize medical laboratory professionals and pathologists. 

The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and donors. They supply about 40% of the nation’s blood, teach lifesaving skills, give international humanitarian aid, and support veterans along with military members and their families. 

The laboratory professionals behind the scenes at the American Red Cross test every blood donation in order to make sure it is safe to transfuse, according to Dr. Walter Kelley, Red Cross medical director for Utah. The blood donations are life-saving transfusions. 

Dr. Kelley said Red Cross is honoring a very broad range of roles that are all vital to saving lives. 

“As the provider of nearly half the nation’s blood supply, we collect, test, and distribute over 5 million life-saving units a year. This would not be possible without the hard work of laboratory professionals,” said Dr. Kelley. 

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. 

“But before blood donations can reach those who need it, laboratory professionals perform more than a dozen tests on each unit to ensure it is free of infectious diseases and ready for transfusion,” Dr. Kelley said.

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The American Red Cross of Utah celebrates laboratory team