Urgent call for blood donors after low turnout

      The American Red Cross is urgently seeking eligible blood donors after a critically low turnout in June.

      The Red Cross says their available blood supply has reached emergency levels after they received 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. The shortfallleft them with half the available blood products thanthey received this time last year.

      The Red Crosswants eligible donors to give as soon as possible as all blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative.

      The need for donors is great, and critical to meeting the patient demand this summer, health officials say.

      Approximately every two seconds, a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Donations are used for all kinds of treatments, including accidents and burns, heart surgery, organ transplants, complications during childbirth and for patients receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease.

      "Blood must be available at a moment's notice when seconds count to help save or sustain a life. We have reached an emergency situation and the blood will not be there without the immediate response of volunteer blood donors," said Donna M. Morrissey, Director, Communications, American Red Cross Blood Services - Northeast Division. "The Red Cross relies upon generous blood donors so we can supply blood when and where it is needed. Right now, patients in hospitals across the country need you to roll up your sleeve and give the gift of lifesaving blood."

      The goal is to raise 50,000 blood donations over the next two weeks.

      For information on how you can get involved, visit