Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors after holiday

CHICAGO (AP) - The American Red Cross says there's an urgent need for people to donate blood following the Fourth of July holiday.

The Red Cross says in a statement Monday it's facing an emergency blood shortage because donations lagged during the holiday week.

The organization is seeking donors of all types, especially type O, which is the most in-demand blood type and the one that's often depleted from hospital supplies in a shortage. 

Dozens of blood drives are scheduled across Illinois this week. 

Laura McGuire is a spokeswoman for Red Cross Blood Services. She says people around the U.S. depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and "it's critical that people donate now to meet these needs."