(WFXR) – The American Red Cross is urging those who can donate blood to try to make a point to do so because the need is as critical as ever.

Hospitals never know when an emergency will drain the blood supply and the pandemic has not helped that effort as collection efforts have significantly declined over the last year-and-a-half as many public blood drives had to be canceled.

Even after things began opening back up, blood drives and people wanting to donate blood, have not picked back up.

“Right after vaccines started coming out, we saw a huge drop in the number of people registering for appointments to donate blood because they were trying to get things back in their schedule.”

Christy Carneal, American Red Cross

Christy Carneal of the American Red Cross says the best way you can help is to schedule a donation if you are healthy enough to give.

If you cannot donate blood, she says there is also always a need for volunteers to work blood drives or to help disaster relief efforts.

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