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The Scoop

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To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information.

Red Cross: Need for type O negative blood is ‘critical'

Statement issued Tuesday:

The supply of type O negative blood at the American Red Cross has dropped to critically low levels. 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 American Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to help recruit type O negative blood donations to help make up for this shortfall," says Shelby Norris, spokesperson for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

"While all blood types are needed during the summer 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," Norris added. "There is also a particular need at this time for B-negative and A-negative donors."

"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 Norris.

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

A shortage of type O negative blood often occurs during the summer months when fewer donors are giving because of summer vacations and schools approaching summer break are hosting fewer drives.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 60 hospitals and must have 500 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.

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

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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.

About the American Red Cross

The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

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