Every two seconds someone in the U.S. requires blood.

However, each unit of blood undergoes more than a dozen tests by lab professionals to insure it is safe for transfusion.

And this is the week the American Red Cross of Utah joins its national partners to recognize those whose work insures the well-being of the community and patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions or treatments.

From now until Saturday the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Red Cross in Salt Lake City celebrates the 49th annual Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

Dr. Walter Kelley, Medical Director for the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Red Cross, said it is due to the dedication of the Rocky Mountain Division’s lab team that the Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply by collecting, testing and distributing over six million lifesaving blood products.

Medical Laboratory Professional Week was established in 1975 to enhance understanding and appreciation of the scientists, technicians and lab assistants who contribute to every aspect of health care.

Utahns interested in scheduling a blood donation appointment this week to support a consistent blood supply may call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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