Hospitals across the country have cancelled all non-emergency surgery until early next week due to a shortage of blood stocks.
The Irish Blood Tranfusion Service (IBTS) is warning that it cannot meet the demand for blood, due to a severe drop in donations.
Supplies have fallen below the minimum national weekly requirement of 3,000 units.
Kieran Healy of the IBTS said this morning that the low levels are at least partly attributable to new restrictions introduced last year to counter the risk of Variant CJD being transmitted through blood transfusions, as well as the regular seasonal drop in donations coming into the summer.
Mr Healey has appealed to the public for healthy people between the age of 16 and 60 to become regular donors.