American Red Cross is sponsoring five blood drives across Summit County | ParkRecord.com

American Red Cross is sponsoring five blood drives across Summit County

Organization teams up with local entities to solicit donations

The American Red Cross is sponsoring five blood drives at various locations in Summit County during the month of July. The organization routinely provides blood for 40 of Utahs 44 major hospitals.

This month, the American Red Cross is teaming up with several local entities to sponsor blood drives across Summit County to help increase the blood supply at area hospitals.

Jared Willis, account manager for the Red Cross, said the organization routinely provides blood for 40 of Utah's 44 major hospitals. He said the demand is "very, very high" and more than 10 drives are held a day across the state to meet that need.

Willis said it can be especially challenging during the summer to solicit donors at local blood drives, adding "we need extra help from people to get out and donate."

"Right now the state's levels are pretty low and we try and keep as much supply as we can," Willis said. "There is definitely a blood shortage right now and every summer we see this. It's important to remember that every donation could save up to three lives."

The Red Cross is sponsoring five blood drives in the county during July at the following locations:

  • July 6- 2:00 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. at Newpark Resort, 1456 Newpark Boulevard.
  • July 12 – 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Backcountry.com, 1678 Redstone Center Drive.
  • July 25- 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at DoubleTree Park City, 1800 Park Avenue.
  • July 26- 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Montage Deer Valley, 9100 Marsac Avenue
  • July 31- noon until 4:00 p.m. at Tanger Outlets, 6699 North Landmark Drive.

Donors must be in good general health and at least 17 years old- or 16 with parental consent- and at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements may apply for donors who are 18 years old and younger, including high school donors.

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"I think one thing to always keep in mind is you never know what could happen to you, a friend or a family member and the best thing to do is to always prepare our hospitals for the worst so they have that blood on supply instead of something bad happening and then responding," Willis said. "We never want anything bad to happen, but we want the hospitals to be prepared."

Sarah J. Ilstrup, Park City Hospital laboratory medical director, said people often think of blood as a national resource. She said the Red Cross does a "tremendous job" collecting donations in the state, especially considering the current national shortage.

"On a local level we are doing OK, but Park City sees a fair number of trauma patients and they often need a tremendous amount of blood," Ilstrup said. "If they didn't do such a great job in our region we wouldn't be able to support those patients in Park City and Heber at the smaller hospitals."

Ilstrup said hospital's need for blood tends to increase over the summer, which is often referred to as trauma season. She noted Park City's location along Interstate 80 and U.S. 40, in addition to the area's active community.

"We see more trauma in the summer, there is no question about that," Ilstrup said. "From ATV accidents to bike accidents to automobile accidents. I feel like there are even more workplace accidents with so much more construction in the summer. The trauma volume definitely goes up predictably."

Ilstrup echoed Willis' statements about the difficulty of receiving adequate donations during the summer months. She added, "They are seeing it nationally. It is really at critical levels."

"Which is why it is so important to donate because there is no question that our local hospital benefits when we can have adequate inventory," Ilstrup said. "Every single unit goes to good use. We are incredibly careful with blood inventory management and we are very respectful of the time and gift that donors have given. It really does benefit us. It really is scary in small hospitals if you do not have enough red cells on your shelf."