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Why You Should Donate Blood

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. It’s a critical life resource in constant demand, yet only 10% of eligible Americans donate blood.

When a trauma patient enters the doors of University of Utah Hospital, blood is one of the most precious resources that trauma teams have. It saves lives.

“Having a safe blood supply around the world is of the utmost importance,” says Deborah Jordan, community relations supervisor for ARUP Blood Services. ARUP is the sole blood provider for University of Utah Health and Huntsman Cancer Institute and is counted on every single day for traumas, surgeries, solid-organ transplants, and cancer patients.

Lifesaving care can start with you by making a generous donation. While there are many reasons to donate, ARUP Blood Services shares a few:

1. Give back to your community

Blood drives can be organized by anyone, but they are more often put together by groups, organizations, churches, and cities in part to give back to the communities in which they live.

2. Support a loved one

Some people donate because a loved one has received a transfusion after possibly experiencing a trauma or surgery or undergoing an organ transplant. You can support them—and others—by donating blood. Just one pint of blood can save three lives.

3. Help patients with cancer

In 2023, about 2 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer. Many of them will need blood during their chemotherapy treatment. Cancer patients use nearly one-quarter of the blood supply.

4. Save babies

Trauma can happen at every stage of life, including at the very beginning. Newborn babies sometimes need blood to help them survive if they were born prematurely or experienced trauma during labor and delivery.

5. If you have O+ or O- blood

Group O (positive or negative) blood is the blood type most requested by hospitals. It can be given to patients of all blood types, which is why it’s always in great demand and often in short supply. About 45% of people in the U.S. have Group O blood; the proportion is higher among Hispanics (57%) and Black Americans (51%).

6. It keeps the blood supply stable

Those who donate regularly keep our nation’s blood supply stable. Although many people donate blood after disasters, blood is needed every day of the year.

Ready to donate?

If you want your donation to stay local, ARUP Blood Services supplies blood to University of Utah Health and Huntsman Cancer Institute. Children and adults undergoing bone marrow transplants or suffering from cancer, burns, trauma, surgery, or illness count on ARUP to have an ongoing supply of blood for their treatment. If you would like to help your local community, you can start here.

The American Red Cross donates 40% of our nation’s blood and blood components. Find a blood drive near you.