SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for all blood donors.

The call was made after a donation shortfall over the winter holidays. The Red Cross is asking for blood and platelet donors to give now to prevent a continued blood shortage throughout the winter.

Overall, the Red Cross says they collected 27,000 fewer donations over the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than what is needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. They currently have less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand.

All eligible donors, especially platelet donors and blood donors with type O blood, are asked to make an appointment to give in the coming days to help restock the shelves for hospital patients. Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.