The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets — a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients — must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

To donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment


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