HEALTH

A potentially severe flu season may leave blood supply short in the U.S.

Nov 5, 2022, 7:00 PM
The American Red Cross is asking the public for blood and platelet donations, before a potentially ...
The American Red Cross is asking the public for blood and platelet donations, before a potentially severe flu season is upon us. (Photo credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)
(Photo credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross is asking the public for blood and platelet donations, before a potentially severe flu season is upon us. 

A press release from Red Cross said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports several states with early spikes in flu cases. Furthermore, the CDC predicts a serious spread of the flu this year. 

In addition to a potentially severe flu season, busy holiday schedules may make collecting blood more difficult this winter. 

“The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, and we often see a decline in donations during the holiday season. We’re urging people to donate now,” said Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Utah Greater Salt Lake Chapter.

Lafranca also said that the only way to obtain transfusable blood is through donations. And every 2 seconds a patient emergency in the U.S. requires blood from donations.  

“Any of us – our friends, family, neighbors – could be in an accident or become ill some day and need blood. Yet, in the U.S., where 62% of the population is eligible to give, only 3% does,” he said. 

Furthermore, the American Red Cross is offering a $10 e-gift card when you donate before Nov. 22. 

If you physically can’t donate blood, the Red Cross said volunteering as a blood donor ambassador greatly helps. Volunteers greet, check-in, and thank blood donors.  

To schedule an appointment to donate, click here. To volunteer as a blood donor ambassador, click here

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A potentially severe flu season may leave blood supply short in the U.S.