PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations.

They say donations have fallen short of hospital needs for a few months, resulting in 39,000 fewer donations than what is needed.

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In additional, they say the 4th of July holiday may have caused many regular blood donors to postpone due to their vacation plans.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Beth Toll of the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.

“Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

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The Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give in order to replenish the extremely low summer blood supply.

To schedule an appointment to donate, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give.

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Donors with all blood types are needed.