The Northeast Division of the American Red Cross hopes to collect more than 8,000 blood donations over the next two weeks to combat an emergency shortage.

“Blood must be available at a moment’s notice when seconds count to help save or sustain a life. We have reached an emergency situation and the blood will not be there without the immediate response of volunteer blood donors,” said Donna M. Morrissey, communications director for the Northeast Division.

“The Red Cross relies upon generous blood donors so we can supply blood when and where
it is needed,” she added. “Right now, patients in hospitals across the country need you to roll up your sleeve and give the gift of lifesaving blood.”

All blood types are needed, but O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative are particularly in demand.

Red Cross donor centers in Portland and Bangor will extend their hours beginning Tuesday and will have special hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 2. Hours also are being increased at many blood drives throughout Maine until July 10.