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American Red Cross faces blood donation shortage during the summer

 American Red Cross slogan.
American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region
American Red Cross blood drive.

The American Red Cross is holding multiple blood drives in Cache Valley this month to try and avoid blood shortages experienced during the summer months.

Michael Smauldon, executive director of the American Red Cross Northern Utah and Southwest Wyoming Chapter, noticed when COVID-19 arose, people didn’t travel as much. This resulted in higher donation numbers, but now that COVID-19 cases are low, donations are down.

In addition, every summer there are fewer donations due to family vacations, traveling and people wanting to be outside more.

“And as more people are moving and traveling around, that tends to lead to more accidents and people in the emergency room, which leads to more blood being needed at our hospitals,” Smauldon said.

Anyone can donate blood, no matter the type you have, but hospitals use type O the most.

“Type O blood is the universal blood donor blood. So, more hospitals use type O blood — O- and O+ — due to the compatibility of it being able to be used and more donors of different types,” Smauldon said.

Before going into a donation appointment, Smauldon suggests hydrating for 24 hours and eating a low-fat meal so people have strength throughout the donation.

Blood drives coming up will be on Wednesday, July 19 at the First Presbyterian Church of Logan, and Friday, July 28 with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mount Logan stake.

Schedule an appointment or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Hannah Castro is a junior at Utah State University studying Journalism and Public relations. Her parents were born and raised in Ecuador and migrated to the States before she was born. Hannah loves all things music and usually has a concert lined up. She enjoys being active, and recently ran her first half marathon in Salt Lake City. Hannah enjoys writing and can’t wait to further her skills at Utah Public Radio.