Earlier this month, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for donations citing a critical shortage in the blood supply. Summer months are typically the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors — just three percent of the population — may go away for vacation and participate in summer activities.

Norwalk Hospital will host a Red Cross community blood drive to benefit patients in need on Friday, Aug. 11, from 1:30 to 6:15 in the Patio Room on the fifth floor. Donors of all blood types are needed.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.  The Red Cross recommends drinking plenty of fluids on the day of donation, wearing comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up, eating iron-rich foods in the weeks prior to donation and bringing a list of any medications taken along with a photo I.D. or blood donor card.

For information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org. Appointments may also be made with the American Red Cross Blood Donor App.