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Red Cross in urgent need of blood donations

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donations. Currently, they have less than a five-day supply of blood on hand, the humanitarian organization said in a statement.

The Red Cross reached out for help via social media, tweeting, "Blood donations are urgently needed for hospital patients. Please make an appt."

On Facebook, the group posted: "Summer blood shortages are not uncommon, but they can be overcome when generous volunteers like you roll up your sleeves to restock the shelves."

At least a five-day supply is needed to meet the needs of hospital patients, including cancer and sickle cell disease patients, and to be prepared for emergencies, they said.

People interested in donating blood can schedule an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donors have to be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent in many states, and must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and a single donation can potentially help more than one patient, according to the Red Cross.

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