American Red Cross warns of looming blood shortage

Donors give blood in Rutland, Vt., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations to help overcome a looming blood shortage.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected, according to the organization.

Officials with the Red Cross said the Independence Day holiday falling on a Friday also reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.

"Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer and they're relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead," Jan Siva, CEO for the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services region, said in a statement.

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time, according to the organization.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations.

For more information on donating blood or to make an appointment to donate blood, people can call (800) 733-2767, or visit their website.
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