CINCINNATI -- It doesn't take much to convince Brittney Hahn to give blood. She understands the need.
"My stepdad had cancer and he had several blood transfusions, and someone donated that blood to him," Hahn said. "So, why not be the change and help give that blood to someone else?"
The need is great right now, according to the Hoxworth Blood Center. They're holding a weeklong community blood drive at the University of Cincinnati. Hoxworth spokesperson Cara Nicolas said the blood supply is low.
"This winter has been particularly bad because we've been hit with this really terrible flu season, and all the weather has really impacted our turnout," she said.
Hoxworth needs to collect about 350 units of blood daily to meet the demand of 31 area hospitals in 18 counties. They said the need is not critical yet, but urgent.
"In recent weeks, you know, we've been very close to critical," Nicolas said. "We fortunately haven't had to put out a critical appeal. We're working to avoid that."
Once blood is donated, it doesn't sit around for long. Couriers take blood every couple hours to the blood center, where it's tested and processed.
Blood collected by Hoxworth is generally used locally. Platelets are in demand because they're crucial for cancer patients and only last five days.
For more information on the blood drive, visit Hoxworth's website.