Red Cross officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have issued an appeal for blood donors of all types to come forward and help offset a national blood shortage.
They say blood donations in May and June were at the lowest level the Red Cross has seen in more than a decade, but demand for blood products remained steady.
"It may be that people are on vacation, schools are out of session, but the important point is that we've seen a shortage and a trend emerging and we're hoping eligible blood donors will help us reverse that and come out and give blood," the Red Cross' Donna Morrissey said.
The agency says the situation has created a critical need for all blood types, especially type O-negative, which can be used to treat any patient.
The Red Cross also asks sponsors and community leaders to recruit blood donors across the states.
The agency provides blood to 73 hospitals and must have 650 people give blood each day to meet demand in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on July 12, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.