COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — There is a severe blood shortage in Maryland and across the nation, and donors are needed.

The organization said that as the pandemic ends, hospitals are responding to an abnormally high number of traumas, ER visits and transplants. The demand is depleting the country’s blood inventory.

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The Red Cross said donors of all blood types, but especially type O and those giving platelets, should make an appointment.

“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Dr. Lokhandwala, Regional Medical Director, American Red Cross of the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region. “As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need.”

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Blood is especially critical for those suffering from sickle cell disease. Those patients may require as many as 100 units of blood every year just to help manage the disease.

So if you can, consider donating blood by making an appointment at the Red Cross.

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To find upcoming donation opportunities and make an appointment, go to RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

CBS Baltimore Staff