The American Red Cross is urging blood donors to give in the final weeks of summer to help prevent a blood shortage.
Blood donations often decline in August as final summer vacations are planned and back-to-school activities ramp up. On average, during the summer months, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is needed.
Donations are needed now to help ensure blood is available for patients in need. Donors with types AB, O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to donate. Plasma from type AB donors can be transfused to patients of any blood type, as can type O negative blood. Type B negative and A negative blood can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. These are the most in-demand blood types and are in constant need.
According to the Red Cross, African-American blood donation is vital because blood types O and B, the blood types of about 70 percent of African-Americans, are the blood types most in demand. Blood donation can help African-Americans suffering from diseases such as sickle cell anemia, cancer and heart disease.
To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).