Red Cross calling for more blood donors

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SALT LAKE CITY - Below-average donations mean the American Red Cross' supply of blood is running low.

Julia Wulf, chief executive officer for the Red Cross Blood Services, says the organization is experiencing a nationwide shortage of blood donations and now they're asking for people to give blood.

"Right now the American Red Cross is looking for O-Negative, O-Positive, A-Negative and B-Negative donors," said Wulf. "Our donations for those blood types have been lower than usual, so we are looking for the public to come out and help us out so we can meet patient needs in our hospitals."

Wulf says that keeping the blood supply up can be challenging during the summer.

"Well it's summer, during the summer there's lots of distractions. We're not doing high school blood drives, people are doing other things, they are outdoors on vacations and they kind of forget about us," she said.

Baby boomers donate the most blood, Wulf says, and they're getting older. She says younger people need to start donating more often.

"We really need to make this more attractive and have our younger donors come in and donate," said Wulf. "People who are teenagers now and who are in their twenties and thirties."

Donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in relatively good health.

The American Red Cross has four fixed locations in Utah; Salt Lake City, Layton, Orem and St. George, and some mobile centers.

For more information about donations, visit www.utahredcross.org.