SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Eligible blood donors of all types are urgently needed by the American Red Cross.

Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, but there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage.

After issuing the emergency call, the Red Cross has experienced a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July. About half of the appointments were scheduled by donors using the free Blood Donor App or at redcrossblood.org. Despite this improvement, blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.

“The blood supply is like a cell phone battery, it constantly needs recharging,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”

The Red Cross said it saw 61,000 fewer people than it needed in May and June which led to the emergency call for blood. he shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days.

For locals who want to help the Red Cross’ cause there will be a chance in Sylacauga. The Red Cross will host a blood drive  from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 at the Alabama Power Service Organization on Hwy. 280.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.