The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases and elective surgeries deplete the nation’s blood supply.

Donors of all blood types, especially type “O” and those giving platelets, are being urged to make an appointment to donate blood.

The Red Cross says right now, hospitals are responding to a high number of traumas and emergency room visits.

The Red Cross has seen demand for blood from trauma centers climb by 10 percent this year.

In addition to trauma needs, there is a great hospital demand for blood as people who deferred care during the height of the pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, requiring increased blood transfusions

Over the last three months, the Red Cross has distributed about 75,000 more blood products than expected to meet these needs.

“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Dr. Lawrence Fialkow, Medical Director of the Eastern New York Region. “As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need. Please consider blood donation as a summer activity that can help save lives.”

You can schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood

Anyone who donates blood or platelets through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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