WASHINGTON — The American Red Cross issued an urgent call for donors after a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations.

Officials said they need people of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care for local patients.

"Medical emergencies and critical treatments don't stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day," said Cliff Numark, the senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services said in a statement. "Right now, the Red Cross only has less than a three-day supply when we need a five-day supply to be prepared for all situations that require blood products." 

If you would like to donate, you can find a local blood drive here. You must be 17 or older in  Virginia, Maryland and D.C. – though Virginia and Maryland allow 16-year-olds to donate if approved by a parent.

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