To the editor:

Summer can be a busy time full of fun activities and vacations, but the need for lifesaving blood transfusions never stops. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Right now, the American Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage and urges eligible donors of all blood types to give as soon as possible to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer.

This follows a difficult Fourth of July week, where donors were less available to give and hundreds of fewer blood drives were held compared to an average week, as people celebrated the holiday. There is currently less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand.

Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients — and those being treated for cancer or sickle cell disease — don’t get a holiday from treatments that are critical to their care. More donors are needed now for these friends, family and community members who depend on lifesaving blood products.

On behalf of the Red Cross, I’m inviting you to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life. About an hour of your donated time could lead to a lifetime of summer memories for patients in need.

Maria Devlin

CEO, New Hampshire and Vermont Chapter

American Red Cross