(CBS DETROIT) –  The sign outside a blood drive in Farmington Hills reads “Blood Needed,” but according to Red Cross of Michigan, this is an understatement.

“We have been in a severe blood shortage situation for several months but it’s risen to crisis levels,” said Regional Communications Director American Red Cross Michigan Region Meghan Lehman.

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Red cross representatives have been putting the message out of the critical need for blood donations, and at a blood drive at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills Wednesday, many answered the call. They had over a dozen people there waiting to donate blood just a couple of hours after opening their doors.

“We’ve been fortunate that blood donors have really come out and we’ve been able to fill a lot of our appointments as opposed to other areas,” Lehman said.

However; Lehman says there’s still a great need and hospitals in the area being faced with difficult decisions due to the blood shortage.

“About who gets the blood they have on hand and that’s a situation we want to correct quickly, we want there to be several days’ worth of blood inventory on hand.,” said Lehman.

She says they realize they are asking for blood donations at a time of COVID, but says they’re taking the necessary precautions to keep donors safe during the process, which is simple and takes about an hour.

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Also those who donate are automatically put into a drawing to win a trip to the Super Bowl.

“I would say the biggest incentive for giving blood is you really walk out of there with a really good feeling, one blood donation can impact up to three lives,” Lehman said.

There will be several blood drives throughout metro Detroit including at many Gardner White locations within the next few days, officials say if you’re not able to get an appointment now make that appointment a few weeks out because they’ll still be in need of blood.

Over the next month, about 40% of donation appointments remain unfilled in the Oakland and Macomb County areas of the Red Cross Michigan Region. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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