The American Red Cross is urging blood and platelet donors to help replenish an "extremely low" summer blood supply.
Donations have decreased drastically the past few months, resulting in a national shortage of blood with about 39,000 fewer donations than what is needed.
The agency said nearly 650 fewer Red Cross blood drives were scheduled last week because of Independence Day vacations – but the need for blood doesn’t break for vacation.
Some of the larger blood drives that bring in more donors are held at schools and universities, which are closed or on reduced hours during the summer break.
The Red Cross must collect about 14,000 blood and platelet donations for patients daily for about 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Someone needs a blood or platelet donation every two seconds in the United States because of burns, traumatic accidents, heart surgery, organ transplants or treatment for leukemia, cancer and sickle cell disease. In the Pacific Northwest, 4,800 donations are needed daily.
Thirty percent of the American population is eligible to donate blood, but only 10% of them actually donate.