The American Red Cross needs blood donors to bring back the missing A's, B's and O's. A few missing letters may not seem like a big deal in a sentence, but for patients who need A, B, O and AB blood types, these missing letters mean life. The Red Cross urges donors of all blood types to give now to help prevent delays in medical care this summer.

Six years ago, doctors told Jacqueline Rogers' family that there wasn't enough type O negative blood available to perform her open-heart surgery. This news that her surgery was postponed was scary for Jacqueline, just 8 at the time, who was born with a congenital heart disorder. "No blood means no surgery. I thought I was going to die." Fortunately, blood donors stepped up, and Jacqueline's surgery was successfully completed a week later.

To draw attention that blood types sometimes do go missing from hospital shelves, A's, B's and O's began disappearing on June 11 from iconic brand logos, social media pages, signs and websites as part of the Missing Types campaign. The campaign is raising awareness of the need for more blood donors.

While thousands of blood donors have answered the call to fill the Missing Types, more donors are needed now to help ensure patients don't have to wait for blood products. During the summer, especially around holidays like Independence Day, donations often don't keep pace with patient needs. The Red Cross is thanking all those who come to donate July 1-6 with an exclusive Red Cross Missing Types T-shirt, while supplies last.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Scott Depot

July 5: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Tri-County YMCA, 200 Carls Lane

July 12: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Teays Valley Church of God, 185 Connection Point

Huntington

July 4: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Cabell Huntington Hospital, 1340 Hal Greer Blvd

July 8: 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Center, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd

July 15: 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Center, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd

Charleston

July 10: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Pioneer WV Federal Credit Union, 1320 Kanawha Blvd. East

July 11: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., United Center, 500 Virginia St. E

July 12: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, 1 Greyhound Drive

July 15: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Kanawha Co. Emergency Ambulance Authority, 601 Brooks St

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