CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s an emergency call being made for blood donations today.

The American Red Cross says there were about 50,000 fewer blood donations than expected nationwide last month.

St. Bernard Hospital in Englewood plans a blood drive next Friday through LifeSource.

Spokesman Derek Michaels says there are a great many reasons blood donations are needed more in the summer, including more traffic accidents, violence on the streets, and various surgeries and illness treatments, such as for sickle cell anemia patients.

He says, that in the summer, accidents happen with “kids are out on their bikes more. You know, all these kinds of things increase the numbers; and yes, we can’t avoid the violence issue.”

St. Bernard Hospital medical social worker Jackie Shipps says being a blood donor is good for everyone. She says she’d love to see more blacks and Latinos donate. They make up a very small percentage of the people nationwide who donate blood.

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