The American Red Cross says the Southeast's blood supply is critically low and urges all donors to give as soon as they can, especially those with blood types O negative, B negative and A negative, which are most needed now.
The Red Cross typically has a summer blood shortage because fewer blood drives are being held, particularly at high schools and colleges, which account for about 20 percent of all donations.
The blood service says someone in the United States needs blood every 2 seconds. But only 38 percent of the population now is eligible to donate, and few of those eligible do it.
In its Southern Region, the Red Cross must collect 1,200 units of blood each weekday to meet the needs of hospitals.
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Eligible blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and generally be in good health.
For more information, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or go to redcrossblood.org.