The American Red Cross, Northern New England Blood Services Region issued an urgent call for blood donors.

The Red Cross closely monitors national and local blood supplies to ensure donations are keeping pace with hospital need for blood products in order to meet ongoing and emergency patient care.

“There is a critical need for blood donors now,” said Donna M. Morrissey, director of public relations and corporate affairs for the Northeast Division of the Red Cross. “This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community’s hospitals and the patients they serve.”

Donors with all blood types are needed, but especially those with type O negative. Red Cross officials say type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage. That’s because type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type, and is most readily given to patients in emergency and trauma situations.

Every day, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the United States. Blood is used for the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients, trauma victims and more. Each whole blood donation can help save up to three lives.

“We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now,” said Morrissey. “Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life.”

Upcoming blood drives include:

• Department of Health and Human Services, 91 Camden Street, Rockland: Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Penobscot Bay Medical Center, 6 Glen Cove Road, Rockport: Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Rockland American Legion, 335 Limerock St., Rockland: Aug. 26 from 1 to 6 p.m.