The Blood Bank of Alaska is encouraging people to donate blood at local area hospitals to help patients in need.

Hospitals are in "critical need" for various blood types, including O negative and O positive, Blood Bank of Alaska CEO Bob Scanlon said in a press release from the organization Sunday.

The organization says 100 donors a day are needed on average to ensure that Alaska hospitals have enough life-saving blood and blood products, which equates to about 700 donors a week.

"There is no substitute for blood when it is needed," the release stated. "Over 15,000 Alaskans donate blood each year to help fellow community members. This generosity helps a range of patients from those fighting leukemia and other cancers to trauma victims and mothers that suffer complications during child birth."

Blood Bank of Alaska has centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Juneau.

To schedule a donation appointment, call 907-222-5630 or visit bloodbankofalaska.org.

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