GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The American Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors to book an appointment amid a national blood shortage.

“Our national blood supply has fallen by about 25% since early August,” Mary Lynn Foster, regional CEO of the American Red Cross Michigan Region, said.

Several factors have contributed to the decrease, including back-to-school activities, Hurricane Idalia, and travel.

“Every day, the Red Cross needs to collect about 12,500 donations to meet the needs of our patients at about 25 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country, including Michigan … The impact of Hurricane Idalia was significant. It cost hundreds of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, which compounded … a shortfall of about 30,000 donations just in the month of August,” Jamila Wilson, a blood donor services account manager, said.

“We need the public’s help and the generosity of blood donors. That is why we are issuing an urgent call to action for blood donations now and through the fall,” Foster said.

Donors of all blood types are needed, especially platelet and type O donors.

“The people who need this life-saving blood are accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease,” Foster said.

To schedule an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.  

Anyone who donates blood in September will receive a coupon for a free haircut by email, thanks to Sport Clips, and be entered to win a VIP experience to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Races at Darlington Raceway. Anyone who donates before Sept. 18 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last.

A representative with Versiti Blood Center of Michigan told News 8 that it wasn’t experiencing an emergency with its blood supply at this time but it only takes one traumatic event to impact the inventory.

—News 8’s Demetrios Sanders contributed to this report.