Red Cross seeks blood donors of all types
Published 5:03 am Monday, August 6, 2007
Special to the Standard
The American Red Cross is currently in need of volunteer blood donors with all blood types, particularly those with Type O Positive or Type O Negative, due to ongoing summer shortages. Due to slow collections, an increasing demand due to the summer travel and holiday season and a projected nationwide shortage this summer, the American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give at blood drives and donor centers over the next several weeks as a way of elevating the blood supply to a safe and stable level.
The most critical current need is for donors with Type O blood, as Type O blood makes up over half of the total blood requested by the more than 100 hospitals served in the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region. Projections for the summer indicate that collections are running well below normal for the early summer, and the only way to avert a dangerous shortage is by giving blood now.
Because O Negative is considered “universal donor” blood, it can be used to treat trauma patients in an emergency when time is of the essence and the patient's blood type is unknown.
This makes it an extremely important part of a safe and stable blood supply, and there is always a tremendous demand for this type of blood due to its versatility. O Positive blood is the most common type and can be transfused into patients with positive blood types.
B Negative is a rare blood type, and often, when an emergency need is realized, there is no time for B Negative donors to respond. These factors make it especially important that the American Red Cross has a stable supply of both O Negative and B Negative blood types at all times.
Donors are needed each and every day to make sure that everyone who needs blood receives blood. Under normal circumstances, the ALGC must collected roughly 800 units per day in order to make sure hospital requests are filled, and the best way to avoid a dangerous emergency shortage is to give regularly at American Red Cross blood drives and donor centers.
Therefore, the American Red Cross will be hosting many public drives over the coming weeks in an effort to bolster the blood supply for the coming months: