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Fri, Aug. 07

Red Cross: Critical type O blood shortage; donors needed now

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

The American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges eligible donors to give now to help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations.

As a thank you for helping replenish the blood supply, all donors who come to give blood now through June 10 will receive a $5 gift card via email. Additionally, those who come to give May 24 to 28 will receive an exclusive Red Cross-branded T-shirt, while supplies last.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical. That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day.

While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

The Red Cross collected approximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations, and schools, including high schools and colleges, begin to host fewer blood drives in late spring as school years end. Because these drives account for about 20% of blood donations during the school year, less drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at or by calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

Eligible donors with type O blood are encouraged to make a whole blood or Power Red donation, where available. During a Power Red donation, donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Prescott and Prescott Valley:

May 24, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Little Dealer Little Prices, 2757 North Truwood Drive

June 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Las Fuentes Resort Village, 1035 Scott Drive

June 4, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Frontier Village, 1781 E. Highway 69, Suite 51

June 5, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Elks Theatre & Performing Arts Center, 117 E Gurley St.

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