Red Cross puts out emergency call for donors

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SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross has put out an emergency alert requesting blood donors to come forward immediately.

Red Cross officials in Salt Lake City said their shelves are emptier than usual, as they had 10 percent fewer donations last month than normal, and they said it didn’t help that people were busy last holiday weekend.

Julia Wulf of the Red Cross said the need for donors is great.

“We cannot stockpile blood,” she said. “We can’t build up a big supply and hope it lasts us through the summer. What we have to do is do a constant supply; red cells are only good for 42 days, which sounds kind of long but goes quickly, and platelets are only good for five days.”

Those who wish to donate can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by visiting their website.

Officials said donating takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and they said they offer donors refreshments at the end. They are also currently offering a promotion, and blood donors will be automatically entered into a drawing to win Apple gift certificates or an iPad 3.