LANSING, Mich. - Have time to roll up your sleeve? The American Red Cross is urging you to find the time.
"Blood is being sent to hospitals faster than they are being donated," says Todd Kulman with the Red Cross.
In Mid-Michigan and across the country, the Red Cross is experiencing a critical blood shortage. The supply needs a boost soon.
"The Red Cross strives to have at least a 5 day supply of blood on hand and right now we have less than that," says Kulman.
We are now in the third week where the supply has been below that mark.
But, why the near month-long shortage? I'm told it's a common summer time problem, but right now things are critical.
Believe it or not, students play a big role in a lot of this.
"Students are out of school and high school, college students account for about 20% of our blood donors so we are not holding as many blood drives in those areas, on campuses," says Kulman.
Plus, blood donation often takes a back seat to summer vacation.
"It's not uncommon to have challenges during the summertime," he says, "but at this point when we fall less than a five day supply that gets critical."
The Red Cross says there is staff ready and waiting to take donations. Hours have even been extended at some donation centers.
Plus, there are ways to save time.
"We have a new thing called 'rapid pass' which allows our donors to complete the health history, fill out some of that paperwork at home," says Kulman.
You can go to RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or try out the free app "Blood Donor" to register.