The Red Cross is experiencing a critical shortage in blood and platelet donations. Can you help?

The American Red Cross recently issued an emergency call for eligible individuals to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible.

“The decline in summer donations is causing a significant draw-down of our overall blood supply, and we urgently need people to give now to restock hospital shelves and help save lives,” said Shaun Gilmore, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Every day, patients recovering from accidents or those receiving treatments for cancer or blood disorders rely on lifesaving blood products regardless of the season.”

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

Eligible individuals of all blood types are needed to make an appointment to give today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Click here and find one that's close to you.

Credit Think Stock