Every day, patients across the nation rely on blood donated through the American Red Cross. Nearly 5 million patients need blood transfusions every year.

"Accident victims can require up to 100 pints of blood, but they aren't the only people who rely on blood transfusions," said Terry Dunnaway, CEO of the Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Region. "The blood you donate through the Red Cross can also help cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies and many others."

The blood supply is particularly vulnerable during the holiday season because donors travel and spend time with family and friends and may forget to schedule a donation appointment. Because red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days, it is vital for those eligible to give blood regularly.

The next blood drive is from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Pratt Community Center, 619 N. Main.

Walk-ins are welcome.

To schedule an appointment call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROSS) or visit redcrossblood.org.

All blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required.