Media contact: Keith Paul
Regional Communications Director
email@example.com | 702-400-7680
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 11, 2023) — In recognition of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, the American Red Cross of Utah is calling on residents to commemorate this day by donating blood. The Red Cross is grappling with a nationwide blood shortage following a summer-long deficit in donations, with an alarming shortfall of about 30,000 donations last month.
“September 11 serves as a powerful reminder of our collective strength during times of crisis,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “We encourage Utah residents to embrace the sense of community and service that this day represents by making a blood donation. Your contribution could prove lifesaving.”
The Red Cross's blood supply has been strained due to a prolonged slump in donations over the summer, worsened by weather-related disasters that led to the cancellation of blood drives and the closure of donation centers resulting in thousands of units of blood going uncollected. The devastation caused by Hurricane Idalia in Florida and Georgia further contributed to this trend, with more canceled blood drives and hundreds of potential donors unable to contribute.
Currently, hospital demand for blood exceeds the rate of incoming donations, causing a 25% decrease in the Red Cross national blood supply in August. “Our shortfall of about 30,000 donations last month has left us struggling to meet the nationwide demand for lifesaving blood products,” Ruster said. “However, there is a way to end this blood emergency in our nation – a simple act of kindness in the form of a blood donation.”
Help end the national blood shortage
The Red Cross plays a pivotal role in maintaining the country's blood supply, contributing around 40% of all collected blood. To meet the needs of patients at over 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers, the Red Cross must collect 12,500 blood and 3,000 platelet donations daily. Donors can schedule an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
While all blood types are needed, there is a critical need for type O and platelet donors. Type O positive is the most frequently transfused blood type, while O negative serves as the universal donor and often used in emergency situations when the patient's blood type cannot be quickly determined. Platelets provide a unique blood product for hospital patients, like those fighting cancer. “We encourage all Utahns to honor this day of service and remembrance by donating blood and making a difference in someone’s life,” Ruster said.
About September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance
This day was officially established by President Barack Obama in 2016 to honor the 2,977 people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. September 11 is marked by volunteering and service, with many Americans choosing to pay tribute through acts of kindness and goodwill. It stands alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as the only officially recognized Days of Service. Learn more about September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance at 911day.org.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.