LEHI, Utah (ABC4) — The American Red Cross of Utah unveiled a new blood donation center at a grand opening event in Lehi today, May 16, replacing the organization’s smaller location in Orem.

This new center is significant as it will help them meet the increasing need for platelets and other blood products both locally and nationally — a demand that was too large for the center in Orem.

Included in this new Lehi facility will be six platelet collection stations with plans to add more in the future. According to the American Red Cross, every 15 seconds someone needs platelets, which are tiny cells in the blood that work to form clots to stop bleeding.

“They only last for five days once we take them out of the body, so we’re constantly trying to replenish our supply,” remarks Bonnie Sandgren, Team Supervisor at the Lehi facility.

It’s also estimated that there is someone who needs a blood transfusion every two seconds.

“As Utah’s population has grown so tremendously, we’ve seen more demand for all medical services, including platelet transfusions,” says Walter Kelley, Medical Director for the American Red Cross in Utah. “We have so many wonderful donors here in Utah and they do really show up. Now they have a very convenient and nice place to do that here in Lehi.”

The Red Cross location in Lehi (310 North 850 East, Suite 8) will begin taking donor appointments and walk-ins starting immediately.

The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that supplies approximately 40% of the nation’s blood while also sheltering, feeding, and providing comfort to victims of disasters. In addition, the organization is responsible for distributing international humanitarian aid.

To fulfill its mission, the Red Cross relies on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to supply blood donations. Those who would like to donate can schedule an appointment via the Red Cross Blood Donor App, on their website, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).