Roll up your sleeve: Desperate need for blood

Blood supply way down

A Nationwide blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to ask us all to roll up our sleeves and give the gift of life.

NBC News is reporting that nationally, the Red Cross fell 50,000 units short of its needs in June and will likely fall short again in July.

Danny Cervantes, a donor recruitment director for United Blood Services in Las Vegas, said if there's not enough available blood, some elective surgeries will have to be cancelled.

"People will put off having knee replacements, hip replacements and other elective surgery," he said.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. As the nationâ??s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is dedicated to ensuring that every patient who needs a lifesaving transfusion is able to receive one. In fact, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood each day to meet the needs of patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply. Donors with type O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative blood are especially encouraged to give this summer.

To donate, a blood donor card or driverâ??s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

To schedule an appointment for blood donation, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit