With the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of summer approaching, the supply of Type O negative blood at the American Red Cross has dropped significantly. A decline in blood donations is typical during the summer as donors become busy with seasonal activities and overlook donating blood. For this reason, it is important for eligible donors with blood Type O negative to make and keep appointments to give blood this summer.
While all blood types are needed during the critical summer months, Type O negative is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a summer shortage.
“We are asking everyone who is eligible to donate Type O negative blood to consider giving blood now and over the coming weeks and months of summer,” said Chris Hrouda, Executive Vice President, Biomedical Services, American Red Cross. “As a Type O negative donor, you can help ensure that blood is available for anyone who may need a transfusion. Your donation will truly make a lifesaving difference.
The organization, through its national blood inventory system, distributes about 22,000 units of blood every day to over 3,000 hospitals across the country. This process enables the Red Cross to provide blood where it’s needed, when it’s needed. Blood needs to be available to help accident victims, cancer patients, patients having surgery, those with blood disorders, and many others. An aging population and more complex medical procedures have increased the need for blood donations.
Giving blood generally takes about an hour from start to finish. Please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to find a convenient blood donation location and to schedule your lifesaving blood donation appointment. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 YEARS OF AGE AND YOUNGER also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. If you have given whole blood before, it must be 56 days since your last donation.