If you're considering donating blood, now is the time.

Maybe you've done so in the past, are planning to do so again or looking to give blood for the first time. Consider making an appointment today. Help make a difference!

Blood donors are at the lowest level over the last two decades, down 40 percent. There's currently a nationwide emergency blood shortage, according to the American Red Cross.

You're being urged to help so people don't have to wait for medical procedures.

"Small changes in blood donor turnout can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of an emergency blood transfusion,” said Dr. Eric Gehrie, Executive Physician Director for the Red Cross.

More challenges may lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types – especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets – are urged to give now.

Photo by Testalize.me on Unsplash
Photo by Testalize.me on Unsplash

For more information you can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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