MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Those with Lifesouth Community Blood Centers estimate that if everyone gave blood every 56 days there wouldn’t be a shortage.

John Donahey in Montgomery is donating even more than that.

“I donate every two weeks for platelets, I donate once a month for my blood,” Donahey said.

He says he donates to help cancer patients and others who need it.

“It also helps people out there in the hospitals that really need. I feel everybody should be able to donate if you can,” Donahey said.

Lifesouth District Community Development Coordinator Melinda Hinds says summer is a difficult time for donations. While people are giving less, there are often more car accidents and more hospitals in need of blood.

“Even before the summer we were seeing shortages, and our inventories are at an all time low,” Hinds said.

Lifesouth’s several locations in the state give blood directly to hospitals in their areas. Hinds says they’re open seven days a week and even send out several ‘bloodmobiles’ daily for collections.

Right now though, she says they haven’t always been able to complete hospital orders.

“We need you terribly right now, so we want our best to adequately get that inventory level to where it needs to be so we can meet our hospital needs every day for our patients,” Hinds said.

The American Red Cross offers another way to give. The Central East Alabama chapter was short last month about 1,000 units, according to Executive Director Kelly Hodges. She says three lives can be saved from one donation.

“When I donate blood, I’m saving a life from a car accident, from somebody who had an accident they didn’t expect to happen. Blood is needed everyday. Surgeries happen every day. If we don’t donate, if we don’t keep supplies on our shelves, what are we going to do? People need it to live,” Hodges said.

The American Red Cross collects throughout the state and sends the blood wherever it’s needed.

Those at Lifesouth encourage everyone to donate, but especially those whose blood type is O-negative, which can be universally used.