SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The American Red Cross of Utah is calling on Utahns to donate blood to help patients affected by Hurricane Ian have access to lifesaving blood.
Utahns — especially those with type O blood — are encouraged to donate blood.
“The Red Cross depends on generous volunteer blood donors every day to provide lifesaving blood for those in need, but especially during times of disaster,” said Dr. Walter Kelley, Divisional Chief Medical Officer for the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest Divisions of the American Red Cross. “By choosing to give now, you will be helping people in Florida in need of emergency lifesaving care or transfusions for medical treatment, while also helping to boost the future blood supply.”
Dr. Kelley also said the Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and fortunately has the ability to move blood around the country whenever and wherever it is needed the most. Last week, the American Red Cross sent hundreds of donated blood products to Florida to make sure there is lifesaving blood available.
According to the American Red Cross, there is a great need for blood in Florida. Flood waters and dangerous conditions have canceled blood drives throughout the ‘Sunshine State’ leaving more than a thousand potential donations going uncollected in recent days.
Heidi Ruster, the CEO of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region, emphasized that there is a blood shortage in Florida. While the Red Cross of Utah doesn’t usually service hospitals in Florida, it is standing by to provide additional help as needed.
Utahns who are willing to give blood and help those affected by Hurricane Ian can schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.