HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The American Red Cross urges people of all races and ethnicities to give blood to help ensure a diverse blood supply for patients in need.

The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major ABO groups. However, some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups, so a diverse blood supply is important to meeting the medical needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.

Twelve-year-old Braden Green required blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease. “It saved his life, that blood transfusion,” said his mom, Brenda Green. “A blood donation can give a patient another chance at life or an opportunity to get through the day.”

Blood given to patients with rare blood types or those who need repeated transfusions for conditions such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia must be matched very closely. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar racial or ethnic background.

All blood types are needed to ensure that the right blood product is available at the right time for all patients. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).

Hill Air Force Base will hold its next blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Hill Air Force Base Chapel Fellowship Hall. Visit www.redcross.org and enter keyword “HAFB” to schedule an appointment.

Blood drives will also be held at the chapel Nov. 9 and Dec. 21.

(75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.)