COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The need for blood at hospitals is decreasing.  This as advances in surgical procedures diminish the use of blood during certain operations.  However, the American Red Cross said it still needs public donations to keep up with the thousands of units of blood it supplies each day.  

The American Red Cross set up camp in Hulston Hall at MU on Tuesday.  It's one of many times a year the organization is on campus encouraging students to donate.    The Red Cross reports during summer blood donations plummet. 

"School's out of session.  People are out of their routines, taking vacations.  People are also very much more active.  So, it always definitely a challenge to collect blood during the summer months," said District Recruitment Manager for the American Red Cross, Julie Pipes.

Blood donations are low, but so is the demand for blood from hospitals, which is rattling the blood business.  Modern medicine has eliminated blood transfusions for certain surgical procedures. 

Now, hospitals have an increase in supply, which is driving down the price.  The Red Cross has responded by downsizing.  The organization reports that over the past 6 years it's had to lay off more than 1,500 employees. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the organization said "Overall demand for blood products has dropped as medical treatments advance and fewer transfusions are necessary, and the Red Cross and other blood banking organizations continue to look for ways to respond," said Stephanie Millian.  

The organization stresses they still need blood and encourage all eligible people to donate.  You can click on the link for more information on American Red Cross Blood donation.