By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – Blood donations for the American Red Cross has reached its lowest level this year.

The organization is contributing the drop in blood donations on the pandemic.

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While hospital beds filled-up, blood drives were called off due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Donor turnout decreased in august by about 10%, so we definitely think that’s a factor and said That’s coupled with going back to school, and late summer vacations,” Meghan Lehman, Michigan Red Cross regional communications director.

“So, it’s typically a time where we see donor turnout down but with the other situations happening with Covid-19, we think that’s a factor as well.”

Organizers say blood donations are used in hospitals for emergency care.

As the demand surges, donation rates plummet, leaving supply at its lowest since 2015.

“It’s a very serious situation,” Lehman said.

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“One donation can save up to three lives. It’s really a critical activity but it’s also easy to do and you walk out with a great feeling knowing that you made an impact on the community.”

The emergency blood shortage is pumping organizers to collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month to supplement the need.

Currently, all eligible people are urged to donate, especially O-blood types, since it’s universal red blood cells can harmonize with all blood types.

“Type O-positive is the most transfused blood type and it can be transfused with rh positive patients of any blood type,” Lehman explained.

“Type O-negative is a blood type that is used typically in the emergency rooms, so it’s universal. When someone comes in from a trauma, whether it be a car accident, or something else, that’s what those emergency room personnel go to grab and get that life-saving blood to the patient who needs it.”

To find a donation center near you visit https://www.redcrossblood.org.

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