Health/Medical
2:00 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

American Red Cross says blood donations urgently needed

The American Red Cross says blood donations are urgently needed.

American Red Cross Omaha spokeswoman Katie Marshall says donations are down eight percent nationwide over the past 11 weeks. That’s 80,000 fewer donations of blood. Locally, donations are down three percent.

Marshall says all blood types are needed, but a few are critical.

"Right now we are especially looking for those with types O negative, B negative, and A negative blood, and we’re also looking for platelet donors. Platelets are an important clotting component of blood, and they are often used by cancer patients, burn victims, and bone marrow recipients."

Marshall says platelets have a shelf life of just five days. Whole blood has a shelf life of about six weeks. She says the need for blood donors isn’t an emergency situation yet, but the Red Cross wants to avoid that.

You can find out more about donating blood, and if you’re eligible, at www.redcrossblood.org.