PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The American Red Cross is urgently looking for blood donors as it faces a critical shortage across the country.

The Red Cross says blood donations have fallen short of expectations for the last two months resulting in approximately 61,000 fewer than needed nationally. The shortfall is equivalent to the Red Cross not collecting any donations for four days.

Philadelphia’s region of the Red Cross is about 12 units behind where it needs to be.

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“Summer is always been a really challenging time to collect blood,” said Alana Mauger, with American Red Cross. “That’s because people take vacations and really it’s not top of mind. People don’t think about donating blood in the summer a lot of the time. You may take a vacation, but the need for blood doesn’t.”

In order to meet patient and hospital demand in the Philadelphia region, the Red Cross says it needs to collect approximately 1,000 units of blood per day.

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