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SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 4, 2023) — Gov. Spencer Cox has proclaimed today, Monday, Sept. 4, Utah Blood Donation Day. With a continuing slump in donations, the American Red Cross is urging Utahns to join us in celebrating the day by donating blood and helping to alleviate the strain on the nation's blood supply. Find an appointment to donate near you at redcrossblood.org.
Utah is one of many states across the country designating Sept. 4 as Blood Donation Day. Nationally syndicated radio host and physician, Dr. Daliah Wachs, began the effort in 2016 to enlist all 50 states in promoting blood donations through National Blood Donation Day. The date, Sept. 4, was selected as it aligns with the Labor Day holiday, when blood donations tend to decline due to the start of the school year and holiday activities.
“Blood donation has the extraordinary ability to make a real difference in someone's life,” said Gov. Cox. “As the nation faces a dwindling blood supply, I encourage everyone who is eligible to join me in this life-saving initiative by donating blood through the local Red Cross. Together, we can help save lives and make a positive impact in our community.”
Extreme weather, disasters contribute to the decline in donations
In the first half of 2023 alone, thousands of blood donations were left uncollected in part due to 15 catastrophic disasters, each resulting in over $1 billion in damages. As a result, the nation's blood supply faces a looming shortage that demands immediate attention. “Those of us in areas not experiencing weather-related disasters can be the lifeline needed by donating blood,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “As we’ve already witnessed in recent years, extreme weather carries the potential to impact blood drives and affect the blood supply.”
The Red Cross plays a vital role in sustaining the country's blood supply, contributing about 40% of all collected blood. To meet the needs of patients undergoing medical procedures and treatments at over 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers, the Red Cross must collect 12,500 blood and 3,000 platelet donations every single day.
While all blood types are needed, there is currently an urgent need for type O negative, type O positive and type B negative blood donations. These blood types are in high demand and crucial for life-saving interventions. Type O blood is the most used in hospitals and B negative is one of the rarest blood types. Donors can make an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Appreciation for donors
As appreciation for their commitment to ensuring a stable blood supply, all who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma September 1-18 will receive a limited-edition Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. Additionally, donors during the month of September will receive an email coupon for a complimentary haircut from Sport Clips. Details are available at rcblood.org/racetogive
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.