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In an effort to prevent an emergency situation, the American Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for the most needed blood types that currently face a looming shortage.

Red Cross is calling on all eligible donors in the metro Detroit area who have O negative, B negative, and A negative blood types to give immediately.

Appointments for blood donations can be scheduled quickly and easily by visiting Redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Blood donations in the southeastern Michigan region dropped significantly in June and July as compared with the past ten months. As demand for the most needed blood types starts to outpace donations, the Red Cross is alerting donors to help restock their shelves.

Type O negative, the universal blood type, can be transfused to patients with any blood type. The more specific Types B negative and A negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

Red Cross also encourages donors to donate double red cells– a process that collects two units of red cells with most of the plasma and platelets being returned to the donor– if possible.

Type AB and platelet donors are also continually needed to help save patients’ lives. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer and surgical patients as well as bone marrow recipients . They must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed.

For more information on how to donate blood and requirements, visit http://www.redcross.org/

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