Red Cross in urgent need for blood donations as hospital demand increases

Local News

FILE – In this Thursday, March 26, 2020 file photo, vials of blood for testing and a donated bag of blood will be sent for testing and use at an American Red Cross blood drive at the Carbondale YMCA in Carbondale, Pa. On Thursday, April 2, 2020, the U.S. government eased restrictions on blood donations from gay men and other key groups because of a drop in the nation’s blood supply triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations in Utah. The request for blood donations comes as a precaution to prevent blood shortages as hospitals resume non-essential surgical procedures that were temporarily paused earlier this spring due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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According to the Red Cross, hospital demand for blood products has grown 30 percent in recent weeks after sharply declining in early April.

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“Blood donors have played a vital role in the lives of patients who have needed lifesaving transfusions during this pandemic, and patients continue to depend on donors each and every day,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “The Red Cross appreciates the support of those who rolled up a sleeve to give in recent months, but the need doesn’t stop. We need the public’s help to avoid another blood shortage this summer.”

RELATED: Utah Red Cross taking extra precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

All those who donate blood through May 31 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt by mail. All those who give blood in the month of June will receive a 5 dollar Amazon gift card via email.

The Red Cross asks that healthy individuals who are willing to donate make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RedCross

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