NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: People receive free food from the American Red Cross in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away on November 14, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy slammed into parts of New York and New Jersey, thousands are still without power and heat.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) The Red Cross needs your help. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Following Independence Day, there has been a significant drop in blood donations causing the American Red Cross (ARC) to release an emergency request for blood.

Generally, rates of blood donations tend to decrease during the summer months and 2013 is no exception. This year the ARC organization received nearly 10 percent fewer donations than they'd initially anticipating during June and the beginning of July.

That number equals roughly 50,000 fewer donations for people, especially those with O negative, B negative and A negative blood, which are rare types.

 

Overall, school-based blood drives represent approximately 20 percent of the Red Cross's donations throughout the academic year. The majority of people that donate at these drives are likely to stop throughout the summer.

The Red Cross believes that Independence Day also curbed the donation effort because of higher numbers in vacation and businesses shutting down. Because of the holiday it’s also believed that the number of blood drives held in early July were significantly decreased.

For more information or to locate a blood drive, visit redcrossblood.org

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