The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets and help prevent a summer shortage.
A recent survey of Red Cross blood and platelet donors shows more than 40 percent plan to travel the week before or after Independence Day, an indicator that many eligible donors may be unavailable to give.
Dan Fox is the External Communications Manager for the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.
"The Red Cross is concerned that we could see a drop off in terms of blood and platelet donations in the coming days and coming weeks, due to not only the Fourth of July holiday, but the summer season in general. "
Fox says although donations are down this time of year, the need for blood does not decrease.
"It could be victims of accidents or trauma. It could also be cancer patients who require blood transfusions as part of their treatment. We could see patients who are going into surgery. We see premature babies. We see women going through childbirth. All of these hospital patients can and often do require blood transfusions."
In addition, Fox says fewer blood drives are scheduled the week before and after Independence Day, because many hosting organizations postpone blood drives while people are on vacation.
Blood donors with all types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are urged to schedule an appointment. To make an appointment and for more information, download the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.