The American Red Cross is facing a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer.

The decline in donations has caused the Red Cross blood supply to shrink nearly 20% in recent weeks. The availability of blood products will continue to decline if donations do not increase. Type O negative blood donors and platelet donors are especially needed now.

“This is a concerning trend that may soon make it tougher to keep blood products stocked on hospital shelves,” said Paul Sullivan, Red Cross senior vice president of donor services. “By choosing a time to give now, donors can help pump up the blood supply for those in immediate need of lifesaving care and those who rely on transfusions for treatment.”

Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all who come to give Aug. 1-31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win gas for a year, a $6,000 value. There will be three lucky winners. Everyone who comes to give blood or platelets in August will also receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice.*

*Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/fuel for details.

For more stories of local interest, click here.