Since announcing an emergency blood shortage earlier this month, the American Red Cross blood supply remains at critically low levels. Recent dangerous winter weather across the U.S. led to nearly 15,000 blood and platelet donations going uncollected in January.

As much of the country warms up, the Red Cross needs donors to make an appointment to help rebuild the blood supply. Donors are vital to ensuring those going through cancer treatment, accident victims, and other patients have access to the blood products they count on.

All blood types are needed, but you're special if you have type O blood, which is the universal type that most of us can use. This critical to keeping hospitals ready to help patients depending on transfusions in the weeks ahead.

Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. More than 80% of the blood collected by the American Red Cross comes from blood drives, which haven't returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. Watch this video on the safety and need for blood donations. Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to give soon.

If you're type O, please make a blood donation or Power Red appointment ASAP:

How to Donate Blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, or call 1-800-RED CROSS to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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