Calling blood donors: American Red Cross blood bank at 'emergency levels'

Red Cross badly needs blood donations

DETROIT – The American Red Cross is sounding the alarm as blood supply levels are abnormally low.

The organization says blood supply levels are just at critical levels - they're at emergency levels - and they need donors to refill their blood banks.

The shortage is due to the summer months, as 20 percent of donations come from high school or college blood drives.

Secondly, the Fourth of July holiday falling during the week meant more vacation time for many.

To find a blood drive or donation clinic near you, click here.

Tips for a Successful Donation

  • Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water or nonalcoholic fluids before the donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. (Fatty foods can affect the tests we do on your blood. If there is too much fat in your blood, your donation cannot be tested for infectious diseases and the blood will not be used for transfusion.)
  • If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
  • Remember to bring your donor card, driver's license or two other forms of ID.

About the Authors: