According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. To put that in perspective, approximately 38 people will need blood in the time it takes to read this blog post.

January is National Blood Donor month, and blood banks across the state are desperate for donations. The Indiana Blood Center started the 2018 year with less than a day’s supply. Blood types such as B-positive, O-positive and O-negative, are critically low in stock. O-negative, the universal donor, is the most sought after because not all blood types are compatible. However, it is still vital to have a ready supply of all types in order to prepare for emergency situations.

The American Red Cross is facing a shortage with 61,000 fewer donations than normal. When considering how one pint — or one donation — of blood can save up to three lives, over 180,000 people could have been helped. That is nearly equivalent to the population of Evansville, Valparaiso, and Zionsville combined.

There is no way to replicate or substitute human blood, which is why donations are crucial. Typically, it takes less than an hour and a half to donate blood and save a life. That time includes going over the donor’s medical history, getting a small physical, the act of donating blood and recovering with snacks.

There are many locations throughout Indiana where you can donate blood. Find the center nearest you by searching through Indiana Blood Center’s locations here. The American Red Cross shows blood drives in your area when you provide your zip code. Both organizations allow for scheduled appointments or walk-ins.

To learn more about the donation process, eligibility requirements, safety and more, take a look at the Donation FAQ page on the Red Cross website.

For more facts and statistics about the donation process, check out the Indiana Blood Center’s website, or the American Red Cross page.