Updated May 22, 2018, 3:18 p.m.
UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rock River Valley Blood Center is pleading with people to donate before beginning their Memorial Day vacation.
The blood center says it is dangerously low on negative blood supplies with less than a days supply. Heading into the holiday weekend means it could run low on all types of blood due to low donor turnout.
The blood center says Memorial Day weekend typically leads to a higher use of blood by hospitals which could decrease inventory quickly.
Updated May 21, 2018, 6:51 p.m.
UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Hospitals are feeling the impact of the lack of blood in the area.
The Rock River Valley Blood Center is in desperate need of type negative bloods. Only 18% of the population has a negative blood type.
SwedishAmerican Director of Lab Services Keith Hoerth says many donors travel during the summer and there are more accidents during the warmer months making a shortage a major problem.
"Plus getting into the summer we have people out on boats, they're driving around more so you do start to get more traumas that happen and when patients are coming in and when you don't know their blood type RH negative are the ones you go to right away when you don't know for sure since they are a safer product," says Hoerth.
Hoerth encourages people not to wait until after a trauma to donate as blood that is already on the shelves is critical for patients during an emergency. He says it takes time for blood to be processed to become ready to use and can only be saved for 42 days.
Posted May 16, 2018, 1:39 p.m.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rock River Valley Blood Center is in immediate need of three kinds of blood.
RRVBC says it has less than a one day supply of types A negative and B negative blood and a less than two day supply of type O negative.
RRVBC spokesperson Jennifer Bowman says the need for blood has been intensified because of several shootings and accidents recently. She says a mechanical issue on one of the blood center's mobile collection vehicles caused three blood drive cancellations resulting in nearly 100 lost units this week.
To donate, you must be at least 17-years-old or have parental consent at 16-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Taking medication will not necessarily disqualify a person.
To find a donation location, schedule a donation or learn more about giving click here.