Bangor – The American Red Cross in Bangor is calling attention to a shortage of blood across the country.
They’re launching the Missing Types Campaign to raise awareness that there is not enough type A, B and O blood to meet all the need.
“When those go missing, there is not enough blood to meet the demand of our hospitals and our doctors in emergencies and planned procedures,” Caroline King, executive director of Northern and Eastern Maine, said.
Red Cross officials said that not enough people are donating blood. Only three out of 100 people in the United States donate.
“The American Red Cross is totally dependent on volunteers to help us,” Tom Hinman, of the Red Cross, said. “Without these volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to help these patients in need of blood products.”
The Red Cross is encouraging everyone to donate, especially throughout the summer months.
“The summer is very difficult,” King said. “Most of our blood drives happen in schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and they’re wrapping up for the summer.”
Officials said a lot of their donors are away during the summertime making it difficult for the Red Cross to collect blood. Even if you’re away, they’re urging anyone to still take an hour to donate.
Donating blood takes an hour from start to finish and only 10 minutes for the blood donation itself, Lara Clark, a Red Cross donor, said.
“What we need folks to recognize is, ‘Oh I can take an hour,'” Hinman said. “I can go to redcrossblood.org, type in my zip code, find the most convenient blood drive for myself, and go an donate.”
Officials said by donating, someone could help kids with cancer, accident victims and patients fighting life-threatening conditions.
“Your friends, your neighbors, people like that are people that need you to donate blood,” said Clark. “You can be that missing piece.”