BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) —The American Red Cross is facing a national blood shortage and urgently needs donations to make sure blood supplies don’t get to a critically low level.

The Red Cross said nationally they are looking at a shortfall of 30,000 blood and platelet donations from last month. That shortage can be felt here at our local Red Cross locations.

David Rauch with the American Red Cross said they like to keep at least a four-day supply of blood but right now there is only enough for two days. Rauch said the busy back-to-school season and summer vacations have impacted donations.

Hurricane Idalia and the wildfires in Maui put an even bigger strain on the national blood supply. He said the need for blood is constant.

“Unfortunately sickle cell patients, trauma victims, accident victims, people who need surgeries, that need doesn’t go away just because it’s summer. We have natural disasters or anything else — that need is constant,” Rauch said. “So, we need people to come out and help us get our blood levels back up to what we’d like them to be so we can definitely meet the needs of our hospital partners.”

Rauch said since August they’ve seen a 25% drop in donations. He’s encouraging everyone to get out and make a donation. You can also host a blood drive of your own to help increase your impact.

You can find a list of donation sites and information about setting up a blood drive of your own on the American Red Cross website.