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Red Cross pushes for blood donations amid nationwide type-O shortage

SEATTLE -- A nationwide shortage of type-O blood has the American Red Cross so concerned they're offering gift cards to those who donate.

People who donate at the Red Cross can get a $5 Amazon gift cards between now and June 10.

The Red Cross saw 11,000 fewer blood donations in April than a normal year. Red Cross officials say the slow month, coupled with the upcoming summer months which see an increase in blood need, mean it's time to restock the shelves.

"As schools are letting out, we're not having as many drives," said Colin Downey of the American Red Cross. "It's a difficult time of year to maintain stable blood supply."

The Red Cross likes to have a five-day supply of blood available nationwide. Currently, they only have about two days, Downey said.

Type-O negative blood is important because it's transferable to all blood types. Type-O positive is the most common used in blood transfusions.

For more on how to donate, visit the Red Cross' donations website.

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