The American Red Cross is pushing for more volunteers to consider making a blood donation.

As many know, the summer months continue to be a slower period for donations, as many people aren't available, due to travel and vacation plans. Additionally, with the pandemic, many have waited to have a variety of medical procedures completed until it became safer.

While many procedures are happening now, the blood need is even greater.

What You Need To Know

  • As in year's past, many people are traveling or just busy in the summer so the number of blood donors have decreased

  • Red Cross officials said, during the pandemic, many people waited to have a variety of medical procedures done until it became safer

  • Now that many procedures are happening again, the blood need is even greater

  • There are incentives to donate throughout the rest of the month of July. You can get a $10 Amazon gift card or have a chance to win gas for a year

Blood is also used in emergency situations by medical centers and needs to be readily available.

"What happened is that so many deferred care during the pandemic, and they're now presented with more disease progression requiring more blood transfusions than is typical.  On top of that, we're seeing more visits to the emergency room and trauma centers, as well as drug overdoses," said Red Cross Biomedical Services Director Amy Bobbette.

There is a need for all blood types; however, officials said Type O donors are needed the most.

Type O positive is the most transfused blood product, so there is a particular need for that. Type O negative blood is more of a universal blood type used in emergency situations.

Red Cross officials said the process won't take more than an hour for first time donors, but you're encouraged to pre-register online. Visit the Red Cross website, type in your zip code to find a donation site near you and begin the registration process.

Officials in Central New York said over the past three months they've distributed 75,000 more blood products than they expected.

There are incentives to donate blood through the rest of this month. According to the Red Cross website, you can get a $10 Amazon gift card and have a chance to win free gas for a year.