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Urgent Need for Blood Donors Now

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for types O negative, B negative and A negative blood donations with the need for blood outpacing donations in some parts of the country.

Low Blood Supply During the first five months of 2012, overall blood donations are down compared to the same period last year. This means there is approximately half the amount of readily available blood in the Red Cross system now than there was at this same time in 2011. Remember, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can mean the difference between life and death. Just one donation can help save more than one life.

In addition, summer vacations and activities are beginning to fill donors’ schedules, leaving less time to donate blood. Every year as the weather heats up, the Red Cross watches the blood supply go down. The need for blood, however, does not drop.

Each day, about 44,000 blood donations are needed in the United States. A single car accident victim can require as many as many as 100 pints of blood, and that blood can only come from generous volunteer donors.

“I never realized how important it was (to give blood) until I was involved in a car accident. I almost died that day. I received several pints of blood that kept me alive,” wrote Luis. “I have been donating blood for about 18 years now, at least three or four times a year and I hope to make a difference on someone’s chances to live or die.”

The two most common reasons people give for not donating blood are: "I never thought about it" and "I don't like needles." Currently only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood. Today, take a minute to think about it. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

World Blood Donor Day Thursday, June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, a good reminder of the urgent need to donate blood. Again this year, the Red Cross has partnered with Nexcare Bandages and Supermodel Niki Taylor for the fourth annual give program. Nexcare is offering limited edition bandages at participating Red Cross blood drives and donor centers in June, while supplies last.

Make an Appointment One of the top priorities for the Red Cross is to help ensure a robust blood supply is available to anyone in need. To fulfill this lifesaving mission, the Red Cross needs the generous support of eligible blood donors like you.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Read more about the eligibility requirements.

Please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go online to to schedule an appointment to give blood. Eligible donors with types O positive and negative, B negative and A negative blood types are encouraged to donate double red cells where available.