Blood Donations Sought to Ease Critical Shortage

American Red Cross Blood Services of Southern California is making an emergency appeal for blood. Group O blood supplies are at a crisis level due to national shortages, officials said Monday.

"Without increased blood donations, we will not be able to adequately resupply the 150-plus hospitals we serve," said Rich Krieg, acting chief executive officer of the Red Cross' Southern California region. "We desperately need community groups and companies to sponsor blood drives."

There is a special need for Group O blood, Krieg said. Group O blood is the "universal" donor blood often used in emergencies.

Blood donations are said to decrease by 50% during holidays, Krieg said. With the Independence Day holiday falling on a Saturday this year, there is a particular need to replenish blood supplies before the long weekend.

Southern California imports 40% of all its blood supplies, Red Cross officials said.

Information on how to donate blood is available at (800) GIVE LIFE.

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