The American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to meet a shortage caused by fewer donations than expected in June and the first week of July.

Blood donations will be taken in the Lonoke County area on July 11, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6110 TP White Drive, between Cabot and Jacksonville; July 16, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., England Fitness Center, 107 Valleyview Drive, England; July 19, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 204 N. Third St., Cabot; and July 19, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Jacksonville Wal-Mart, 2000 John Harden Dr.

The Red Cross has an urgent need of donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available during the summer.

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.