It’s a grim ‘first’ for American hospitals as the nation’s blood supply hits critically-low levels.

The American Red Cross has issued a national plea for eligible donors, and has even begun incentivizing donations with chances to win prizes such as trips to the Super Bowl and more. Red Cross representative Joe Zydlo says the strain of the limited supply affects hospital’s abilities to perform necessary operations.

“Things are really dire, usually when we say an emergency need were talking about less than a day supply, when we have a national blood crisis its probably about a half a day or slightly better than that. It delays procedures and surgeries or they have to pick which ones they have to do, which is never a good thing.”

To find out how you can make a blood donation, visit