LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The American red cross has declared an emergency shortage in the nation’s blood supplies.

The organization says an additional 8,000 blood donations are needed each week in January to keep up with hospital demand.

They say that without an increase in donations soon, hospital blood banks may not have enough to respond to emergencies.

The shortage also affects patients awaiting surgery and getting treatment for some chronic illnesses.

While all blood types are needed, the Red Cross says blood banks are especially in need of platelets and blood from Type-O donors.

Dr. Eric Gehrie, Executive Medical Director, American Red Cross said, ”There’s no way to get blood from anywhere besides a donor’s arm and that blood that you donate could be used to save the life of somebody who’s been in a car accident. It could be used to help save a newborn baby, or it could be used to help get a cancer patient through their treatment.”

The red cross says the number of people donating blood in the US has fallen by about 40 percent over the last two decades.

It also says winter weather could impact donor turnout in the weeks ahead, making the shortage worse.

To get more information on donating, go to the American Red Cross website.


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