Utah’s governor sets example by donating blood at Murray clinic in AugustSep 11, 2023 11:31AM ● By Heather Lawrence
Gov. Spencer Cox donated blood in Murray at the American Red Cross on Aug. 15. (Utah/Nevada Red Cross)
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox visited the American Red Cross in Murray on Aug. 15 to donate blood. Cox has said he tries to donate blood once a year. He urged all Utahns to donate if they were able.
“Donating blood is a simple yet powerful act that can truly make a difference in someone's life. I encourage everyone who is able to join me in this life-saving initiative with the local Red Cross and donate,” Cox said.
Cox praised the Red Cross during his visit, saying, “They’re doing amazing work all across the country, especially for our friends who are struggling in Hawaii right now. We have an opportunity to help save lives [by donating blood].”
Cox said donations are needed right now as the national supply is reported to be about 25,000 units short. He posted a video of his donation on Facebook and encouraged anyone who could to donate.
“The American Red Cross of Utah needs our help. I had the opportunity to donate today and the process was quick and easy,” the Governor posted on Facebook.
Summer is a time of high need for blood donations, but the Red Cross said that anytime is a good time to donate. Keith Paul of the Utah/Nevada Red Cross said donors can make an appointment by using the Red Cross app, visiting www.redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
“Donors of all blood types are needed; however, there’s an urgent need for type O negative, type O positive and type B negative blood,” Paul said.
The eligibility requirements for donating whole blood include being at least 17 years old, in good general health, feeling well the day of donation and weighing at least 110 pounds. An extensive FAQ for donor eligibility is available at www.redcrossblood.org.
Para información en español, visite CruzRojaAmericana.org.
If you weren’t eligible to donate in the past, you are encouraged to check back on the requirements. If you were ineligible due to a cold or flu-like illness, medication use, low iron or travel outside the United States, the deferment period may have passed. If donating blood isn’t an option, the website lists other ways to help.
“Donated blood saves the lives of trauma patients, transplant recipients and people undergoing cancer treatment. And the only way to obtain transfusable blood is through the generosity of blood donors,” said Dr. Walter Kelley, medical director for the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Red Cross.
According to the Red Cross, the average red blood cell transfusion is three units, but a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood. The NIH reported in 2019 that up to 3% of women receive “lifesaving” blood transfusions after delivering a baby.
The American Red Cross is a nonprofit founded in 1881 to serve those in need. Its website states it “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.”
“Despite 62% of the population being eligible to donate, only about 3% does,” Kelley said. “We rely on…others to give blood so that it’s available when needed.” λ