Type O-negative blood drops to critical levels - public urged to give now
The supply of type O-negative blood at the local American Red Cross has dropped to critical levels in recent days, as winter weather has canceled blood drives and prevented potential donors from safely traveling to give blood. The Red Cross needs eligible donors with type O-negative blood to make a blood donation appointment now.
Locally in Central Ohio, approximately 100 pints of O-negative blood are used daily for patients at 41 area hospitals. Currently the local Red Cross is not able to fully fill requests from hospitals for type O-negative, and is moving blood among hospitals to where it is needed most while supplies are critically low. Type O-negative blood is always in high demand because it is the universal type, and it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Since the beginning of December winter weather has negatively affected blood donations despite many donor recruitment efforts.
“While all blood types are needed on an ongoing basis, we urge those who know they are type O-negative to make and keep appointments to give blood as soon as possible,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Wissel, Medical Director of the American Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “Your donation could help save the life of someone’s child, mother, brother or friend. When you come to give, you help make everyday medical treatments possible.”
Recent winter weather has forced the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives in the Midwest and Eastern parts of the country, causing a shortfall of more than 8,000 blood donations. In Ohio alone, 25 blood drives have been canceled and weather has caused low donor turn out at many drives that are being held. Across Ohio the local Red Cross currently has a total shortfall of more than 1,200 blood donations.
The Red Cross is working to boost type O-negative donations by alerting current donors in their system through emails, phone calls and post cards. Donors of all types are needed year-round. If you don’t know your type, giving blood is a great way to find out.
An added bonus for those who come to give blood:
- receive a ticket from Jan. 21-23 at Blood Donor Centers to the AAA Great Vacations Expo this weekend
- enter to win free groceries for a year from Kroger
To find out where you can give blood and to schedule your appointment, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for additional information.