The American Red Cross needs you to roll up a sleeve and donate blood.

Donations were down about 10 percent in June and haven't recovered in July, prompting the organization to issue an emergency call on Tuesday for blood and platelet donors.

"We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now," said Greg Novinska, chief executive officer for the Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye blood services region, in a news release.

Nationwide, the Red Cross took in 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June, a shortfall similar to June of 2012.

This happens because school blood drives have ended for the school year and regular donors adjusted their schedules for the summer.

Throw in a mid-week Fourth of July and the subsequent extended days off at many businesses and you have a blood shortage.

The release said the local region needs about 500 donors each day to meet the demand.

The most desirable donors are those with Type O negative blood, a universal blood type, which can be transfused to anyone needing blood.

Types A negative and B negative are also sought after because they can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

Call 800-733-2767 or go online to to make an appointment to give blood or platelets.

Eligibility requirements include being 17 or older, weighing at least 110 pounds and in good health.

There are dozens of blood drives planned in south central and southwest Wisconsin from Tuesday through July 23.

  • Reporter for

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