The Red Cross reports every two seconds there is a need for blood in hospitals.The donations help for patient emergencies like accidents, burns victims, to those being treatment for cancer and sickle cell.
Over the past two months, donations have been down and the organization is 61,000 short of what is needed. Almost 700 fewer blood drives were held the week of July 4th than an average week - That's the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting blood donations at any blood drives for more than an entire day.
In a press releases statement Red Cross communications manager Jan Hale said, "It's crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood". "Hopefully, the opportunity to receive a free amusement park ticket will remind people to make summer blood donation a priority".
"For a first-time donor, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a good breakfast", said Red Cross blood donor Chris Hunt. Almost one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools - where blood drives are held and where new donors give - being out of session during the summer months.
For more information or to find a center near you, visit the American Red Cross website.
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Brittany Scalise donating platelets with the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross says it is facing a critical blood shortage.
Donation appointments are encouraged to reduce possible wait times at blood donation sites. Additionally, summer vacations can disrupt plans for regular blood and platelet donors.
The Blood Bank of Delmarva is also in need of donations of all blood types, but especially O Negative, the universal blood type.