A woman donates blood. (credit: Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

A woman donates blood. (credit: Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Calling it an “emergency request,” the American Red Cross is in urgent need of platelet and blood donors of all blood types.

According to the Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.

Last month alone donations were down abut 10-percent. Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster said summertime expectations are different, but action needs to be taken before things get critical. “It’s not unusual to see a drop in blood donors during this time of year. We have just a little bit of a concern because we’re down about 50,000 pints of blood just during the month of June, here in the nation.”

While Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone, Foster said you never know when a tragic set of circumstances will have someone waiting for a transfusion.  “We just always want to make sure that if the blood is needed it’s available right on the shelf for the patient,” she said. “So they don’t have to worry. They’ve got enough to worry about if they’re receiving blood.”

Red Cross officials say high school and college blood drives account for as much as 20-percent of donations during the school year, and while most parents and children are taking a summer break the need for blood donors remains constant. “We just want to remind people that, we know you’re taking family vacations and you’re kids are out of school and all that sort of thing,” Foster said, adding, “Just remember that even during the summer months there’s still a critical need for blood everyday. We want people to make those appointments so that our blood supply does stay very stable.”

Anyone wanting to make a Red Cross blood contribution should be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and generally be in good health. A blood donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification will be required at check-in.

Foster said it isn’t hard to find a convenient donation center. “The best thing to do is go to redcrossblood.org and look for the blood drive, that closest to either where you live or where you work, and go ahead and sign up for one that’s near you.”

Below are just a few of the upcoming blood drives happening across North Texas:

  • July 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas, 5816 W. Plano Parkway, Plano
  • July 11 from 2-6:30 p.m. at Azle Memorial Library, 333 W. Main St. in Azle
  • July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St. in Dallas
  • July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tom Thumb Shopping Center B&B Furniture Consignment, 3100 Independence Parkway, Suite 201 in Plano
  • July 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at GracePoint Church, 590 S. Denton Tap in Coppell
  • July 15 from 2-6 p.m. at Frisco Lakes Amenity Center, 7277 Frisco Lakes in Frisco

Foster offered words of encouragement to donors, saying, “We know that it is hot during the summer and giving blood may not seem like the most fun thing to do, but it sure is a lifesaving thing to do and we just thank every single person who rolls up that sleeve.”

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