FARGO — Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, is asking for donations, citing a "critically low" blood supply in the Dakotas region.

The service says it needs 250 people to donate each day to keep up its supply, and the summer months can hurt donation numbers because college students leave the region and families are often busy traveling.

Patients at 70 hospitals in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota need blood from donors every day, according to Vitalant.

"Each donor will donate one pint of blood which can be separated into three different components," said Kate Bartelson, a Senior Donor Recruitment Representative for Vitalant. "You actually have the potential to save up to three different patients in three different situations."

To donate blood, visit a mobile blood drive or Vitalant, 3231 S. 11th St. For more information, call 877-258-4825 or visit Vitalant's website.