An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to give now and help save lives.

The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week, which could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing blood to be distributed to hospitals faster than it comes in.

This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

NEVER GIVEN BLOOD BEFORE?

There's no time like the present! Everything you need to know can be found right HERE -- including what to expect, frequently asked questions, and donor eligibility requirements. (BTW, it's soooooooo easy!)  When's the last time you saved three lives in less than an hour?

HOW TO HELP NOW

To schedule an appointment to donate in Central Minnesota, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

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