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Red Cross asks for blood donations on the Central Coast this summer

Tony Briggs, American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations as the organization is experiencing a looming shortage this summer. 

Since mid-May, the Red Cross has seen an eight percent drop in blood donations, about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The organization saw a large reduction this summer, particularly after Independence Day, which minimized the number of blood drives in early July. 

Tony Briggs, a spokesperson for the Southern California division says the Red Cross gets a lot of blood from high school and college students.

"For a lot of students, donating blood isn't in their calendar of things to do,"  Briggs said. "So we do see a drop off in the summertime and right now we're at a point where we really need to ask the public to roll up a sleeve and help donate."

Briggs says the Southern California region, which includes the Central Coast, is about five percent lower than they would like to see. They are encouraging donors of all blood types to give during this time of year.