Donate blood to fight the shortage, Red Cross says

Oct 11, 2023, 2:00 PM

a person donates blood in a utah red cross center -- SALT LAKE CITY -- A blood shortage in Utah and...

Phlebotomist Celeste Rob prepares Mary Jone Dow for a blood donation at American Red Cross in Murray on Monday, March 23, 2020. (Ivy Ceballo/Deseret News)

(Ivy Ceballo/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A blood shortage in Utah and across the country is worrying organizations like the American Red Cross. In response, the Red Cross put out a nationwide call for people to donate to their local centers.

The U.S. is reaching critically low blood supplies. According to the Red Cross’s website, the amount of blood being distributed right now is “outpacing” the amount being donated.

“A convergence of multiple factors has resulted in this national blood shortage,” said Heidi Ruster, CEO of the American Red Cross Utah Nevada region.

The shelf life of blood donations is just one of those factors. According to Ruster, red blood cells expire after 42 days, meaning the Red Cross needs a continuous supply to keep up with demand.

Worsening the situation, there was a 25% decrease in donations last month.

60% of people are potentially able to donate, Ruster said. But only about 3% of people actually do. 

Now, the Red Cross has put out a nationwide appeal for donations from people of any blood type.

Ruster said it’s been 18 months since they’ve had a call to action of this magnitude.

Donating blood with the Red Cross of Utah can be quick and easy, with locations across the state. Donating blood can even be good for you, Ruster said.

“There [are] some health benefits too… you’ll find out where your iron levels are.. what your blood pressure is… and it’s known in the health world that donating blood on a regular basis can be good for your blood and your iron.”

The Red Cross is also offering a $15 gift card to Amazon to blood, plasma, and platelet donors between now and Oct. 20.

You can find the nearest donation center through the American Red Cross website.

Samantha Herrera contributed to the reporting of this story.


We want to hear from you.

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


emergency savings account...

Curt Gresseth

Should employers match an emergency-savings account for employees?

A Utah financial planner outlines a new law allowing an emergency-savings account, with a matching employer contribution.

21 hours ago

A Salt Lake County woman filed a lawsuit claiming a COVID-19 vaccine dose five-times larger than th...

Emily Ashcroft

Lawsuit: Woman says she received full vial of COVID vaccine; CVS subsidiary claims immunity

According to the lawsuit, a new employee was being trained and was directed to prepare the vaccine while the nurse training her worked on paperwork.

2 days ago

How Utah schools handle inversion...

Allessandra Harris

How Utah schools keep kids safe during inversion season

An inversion is expected this week across the Wasatch Front. Utah schools say they will keep students inside if the air quality gets bad.

2 days ago

Smog settles over Salt Lake City during an inversion on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. With Utah's winte...

Allessandra Harris & Devin Oldroyd

Inversion may worsen this week, NWS says

With Utah's wintery temperatures this week, there will also be some inversion patterns and low air quality in the valleys.

2 days ago

How to tell if the melon is ripe...


FDA expands cantaloupe recall after salmonella infections double in a week

The number of people sickened by salmonella from cut and whole cantaloupes has more than doubled in a week, with 99 infections across the U.S.

5 days ago

turkey and thanksgiving dinner shown -- food safety is especially important around the holidays...

Eric Cabrera

Food safety tips to keep in mind on Thanksgiving

Food safety is important as we enter the holiday season because food poisoning cases spike around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Donate blood to fight the shortage, Red Cross says