The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types – especially type O − are urged to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead.

In recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals.

At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met.

Winter weather and the surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply.

Make an appointment to give bloods or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.