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Red Cross short almost 40,000 blood donations in US

FILE - In this July 19, 2010 file photo, blood is collected during a blood drive at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pa. (AP Photo/Erie Times-News, Jack Hanrahan, File)

PHOENIX — The American Red Cross said it is short thousands of blood donations in Arizona.

“The Red Cross likes to keep a five-week blood supply on the shelves and we’re below that right now,” Tammy Nakamura said. “It’s because it’s summer and people are on vacation.”

The Red Cross is far below the five-week supply it prefers. Instead, it is closer to five days.

Nakamura said the Red Cross has about 40,000 fewer donations nationally than it typically does on its shelves this time of year.

“Blood supplies are going out to hospitals faster than donations are coming in and that’s what’s causing the imbalance in what we have on our shelves,” she said.

The organization has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations to get the word out to anyone who is eligible. It has even offered giveaways to lure donors.

Blood can be donated every 56 days, while platelets can be donated weekly. The Red Cross has a list of eligibility requirements on its website.

KTAR’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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