MARTINS FERRY, OHIO (WTRF) — A severe nationwide blood shortage continues to cause concern throughout the medical community.

Today, however, one local hospital is teaming with the American Red Cross looking to answer that call.

East Ohio Regional Hospital is hosting their third blood drive and there is a friendly competition involved.

” The mayors of each city, Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville, decided to make it a fun little competition to see who would come out and give the most. So we have little Hershey Kisses of each color and we’re putting them in the bucket for people who are giving to Martins Ferry or St Clairsville, and then we are having a trophy ceremony in a couple of weeks.”

Kayla Shreve, Director of Medical Staff, EORH

St. Clairsville, Ohio news

Dr. Jeremy Edgeman, Chief Medical Officer at East Ohio Regional Hospital, says the situation has become even more crucial due to to a number of issues including the rise in COVID cases. All of which could effect our local area.

” The need for blood right now is at an all-time high. We have not only a critical need but a dire need for blood. To the point of where if we don’t get enough blood people are going people are going to start dying from things that are potentially curable.”

Dr. Jeremy Edgmon. Chief Medical Officer, EORH

” Between COVID, lack of resources, and now illness starting to resurface, the need is stronger than ever before. This isn’t something that just occurred in the big cities, this is something that’s occuring here locally.”

Dr. Jeremy Edgmon. Chief Medical Officer, EORH

Officials from the American Red Cross have issued a special appeal for blood donations throughout the summer months.. The ultimate goal is to stabilize the blood supply and provide as much blood as needed for local hospital patients.

Martins Ferry, Ohio news

They strongly urge everyone who can to help give the gift of life.

” So just stop and think if anyone in your family, any loved one, any good friend has ever needed blood and it was there for them. And consider the fact that if the blood hadn’t been there for them when they needed it, they might not have survived that loss of blood.”

Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director, American Red Cross, Ohio River Valley.

East Ohio Regional Hospital hosted their third blood drive in the past sixty days today. Over one hundred slots were filled in advance and hospital officials say they are happy to do their part to help to ease the shortage.

” We are super excited about it. Our employees have been amazing. a lot of the people coming from the community has been our employees, family and friends, and that’s just great. We are happy with the success of this and and hope that it helps with the shortage.”

Kayla Shreve, Director of Medical Staff, EORH

Stay with 7NEWS and to find out who the big winner will be.