The American Red Cross is in desperate need of blood supplies.

According to the New York American Red Cross chapter, actual blood and platelet donors are needed to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients.

During September and October the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals need. Hurricanes Michael and Florence also contributed to the blood shortage.

Donors with all blood types are needed, especially type O. Volunteer Blood Drive hosts are also desperately needed to prevent a worse shortage this winter.

Senior Vice President of Red Cross Biomedical Services says, "From traumas to ongoing cancer treatments, the need for blood doesn’t stop for the holidays. People can give back – and help those in need – by making a lifesaving blood or platelet donation now and hosting a blood drive in the weeks to come."

Over 170 blood drives are needed in the New York-Penn Region in December, January and February to help stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.

Contact your local Red Cross branch for details on how to donate. You can also visit RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).