PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Central Blood Bank says blood supplies are at dangerously low levels in the United States.

According to a release, there was a severe decline in blood donations leading up to and after the Fourth of July.

“This is a really unusual summer for us because we are experiencing such a shortage,” Kristen Lane with the Central Blood Bank said. “We are very, very concerned about patients in local hospitals. We want to make sure that those patients do not have to wait for the blood products that they need.”

To meet its quota, the blood bank says it needs 800 donors per week. Right now, levels are so low that the blood bank is calling this an emergency, a term that it hasn’t used in more than a decade.

Local community donor centers will hold extended hours this week in the hopes that there will be additional donations.

The following CDCs will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on certain days this week:

  • Monroeville CDC — Monday, Wednesday
  • North Hills CDC — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  • South Hills CDC — Monday, Tuesday
  • Moon Township CDC — Tuesday, Wednesday
  • Parkway Center (Greentree) CDC — Thursday

Anyone 18 years old or older who weighs at least 110 lbs. and is in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who meet the same conditions can also donate with parental consent.

More information can be found on the Central Blood Bank’s Facebook page here: Facebook.com/CentralBloodOrg

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