Blood supply is dangerously low

American Red Cross officials appealed to blood donors Thursday to increase their donations to address a dangerously low blood supply.

Blood supplies typically dip in the summer when school is out and more people are on vacation. That results in fewer donations and fewer organizations sponsoring blood drives.

High school and college students account for 20 percent of all donations in the Red Cross' Carolinas Blood Services Region.

“The need for blood never takes a vacation,” said Chief Executive Officer Robert Fechner.

The biggest need is for type O blood because it is the most common and can be used for people with all blood types. But the agency also called for donors with type A positive and type A negative blood.

The Charlotte area is served by two blood banks – the Red Cross and the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.

The blood center, which provides 90 percent of the blood used by 14 Charlotte-area hospitals, also reported low supplies Thursday, but said the shortage isn't critical.