Help Prevent a Type O Negative Blood Supply Shortage

February 11, 2011

Red Cross is asking all eligible volunteer blood donors to help make up for the shortfall

Philadelphia, January 4, 2011 - The supply of Type O negative blood at the American Red Cross has dropped to low levels and could drop even more with the ever-present threat of bad weather later this week. 

There is a need for blood donors now,” said Brigid O'Neill LaGier, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. “While all blood types are needed during the winter months, we urge those eligible donors with O negative blood type to make and keep appointments to give blood in the upcoming days to help restore the inventory level,” O’Neill LaGier added.   

Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.   Type O negative donors are needed now to help prevent the Type O negative blood supply from declining further. 
“The Red Cross monitors the blood inventory on a daily basis and when we see a trend or shortage emerging, we communicate the need to our generous blood donors to help us make up the shortfall,” said O’Neill LaGier.

Eligible volunteer blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS
(1-800-733-2767) or CLICK HERE to find a blood drive and to make appointments. 

A shortage of Type O negative blood often occurs during the winter months when fewer donors are giving because of holidays, visiting with family and friends, and the chance of snow or ice.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to Approximately 100 hospitals and must have 1200 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand.

Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, Sickle Cell Disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day.  There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood drives are held seven days a week in communities across the region. To make an immediate appointment for an American Red Cross blood drive this week please CLICK HERE or call 1-800-RED CROSS to find a listing of community blood drives.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in PA and NJ), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

* Please Note: Red Cross representatives are available for interviews with the media.  Please contact the communications representative to arrange interviews or access to blood drives for members of the media.