HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - During the holidays, the American Red Cross needs the gift of life more than ever. That's because there is usually a decline in donations during this time of the year.
Representatives attribute the decline to the several factors. They say people are busy with holiday activities, traveling or dealing with seasonal illnesses.
The Red Cross currently has a shortage of all blood types. But there is a critical need right now for both type O-negative and B-negative blood. Kristen Stancil, a communications manager for the Red Cross, said these specific two blood types can save lives.
"So, with type O-negative, that's the universal blood type and that's what emergency room personnel reach for first where they're unable to determine a patient's blood type. And with type B-negative, your blood can be transfused to a patient who is RH positive or negative patients. So there is a critical need for those two blood types. However, all blood types are needed at this time, so we do encourage all eligible donors to roll up a sleeve," said Stancil.
If you do roll up your sleep to help give the gift of life between now and Jan. 7, you will receive a free long sleeve Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last.
Stancil also recommends using the Red Cross Rapid Pass app to fill out your health history portion before coming to the donation center.
"That will help you determine if you are eligible to give and save you about 15 minutes once you arrive," said Stancil.
The Red Cross Donor Center for Madison County is located off Washington Street near downtown Huntsville.
Copyright 2018 WAFF. All rights reserved.