Statement issued Monday:
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. Eligible donors with type O negative blood are especially needed now.
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.
Red Cross: Type O negative blood drops to critical levels
Statement issued Monday:
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. Claire Meena-Leist, Medical Director of the American Red Cross Indiana-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. Last week in the Indiana-Ohio region, four blood drives were cancelled, resulting in a shortfall of over 227 pints of blood. Weather has caused low donor turn out at many drives that are being held. Because of this there is also a particular need for type A negative and B negative donors.
The Red Cross is working to boost all blood donations, but especially 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:
- Come to donate until January 31 and be entered into a weekly region-wide drawing for a $250 Visa gift card.
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.
UPCOMING RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the American Legion, located at 515 W. Fifth Ave. in Garrett.
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. BHQ_06-2010