BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The American Red Cross is asking the public to give blood or platelets during Trauma Awareness Month to keep hospitals prepared for all transfusions needs.

The ARC stated type O negative blood donors are especially needed right now. Type O negative blood is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel use when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type in the most serious situations.

Once patients are stabilized and their blood type is determined, they will receive a matching blood type. Therefore, donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood now. You can visit to see if you meet the requirements to donate blood and upcoming donation opportunities in May.

Those who donate blood through May 19 will receive a $10 e-gift card. If you donate anytime in the month of May, you will be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to the 2023 MLB All-Star Game in Seattle. Those who give from May 20-31 will receive an exclusive Red Cross beach towel if available.