COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Red Cross says hospital patients across the country could be at risk because of a national blood shortage.  

“Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available,” the Red Cross stated in a release, Tuesday.  

The Red Cross is asking anyone who can, especially type O, to donate blood as soon as possible. 

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.” 

According to the release, the Red Cross has less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals; with as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs not being met. 

To help the situation, the Red Cross is offering those who donate a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, as well as a chance to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information. 

Earlier this month, NBC4 and the Red Cross teamed up for a Blood Give-In, which collected 236 units of blood, surpassing the goal of 218. If you’d like to make an appointment to donate blood, visit RedCrossblood.org.