The U.S. Red Cross says the American blood supply is at a 15-year low. The organization said it was 50,000 units short of its basic needs in June, experienced another shortage in July, and expects to be too low in August.
The Red Cross said that tornadoes in the Midwest have meant a dramatic rise in need, while student donations—usually representing 20 percent of the total—have been declining. School summer holidays often put a dent in blood supplies but usually not this severe.
Brutal storms that have swept through most the nation's regions have also canceled dozens of blood drives.
The Red Cross announced that it officially reached a crisis level on June 25. According to USA Today, if things don't turn around, doctors may need to cancel elective surgeries.
"We just aren't seeing the donors coming through the door right now," said Karen Stecher, a Red Cross spokesperson.