Red Cross Northwest has issued an urgent call for blood donors following the 4th of July. The request applies to all blood types, but especially type O.

The Red Cross says donations lagged over the holiday week, leading to an emergency shortage of blood and platelets. Fewer blood drives were organized than during a typical week, resulting in up to 15,000 fewer donations.

How to help

Schedule an appointment on the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Type O is the most in-demand blood type. According to the Red Cross: Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Senior Vice President of Red Cross Blood Services Cliff Newmar says, "Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on."