Red Cross: Severe Shortage Of Type O Blood
March 13, 2019 | View PDF
The American Red Cross has a severe shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors – as well as eligible blood donors of all blood types – to give now to ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted this winter.
Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, helping patients facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies every day. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is also especially needed because it is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.
Having a readily available blood supply is critical for patients like Luna Giles, who at the age of 1 1/2 has already underwent two heart surgeries and required over a dozen transfusions.
“Each time, the nurse would bring in a bag of blood for her transfusion, I noticed a small label on each one that said ‘Donation Type: Volunteer,’” said Luna’s mom, Jessie Giles. “It made me think about each individual who donated blood for my daughter. I would never know who those individuals were, and they would never see the effect their donation had. But each of those individuals, strangers to us, absolutely saved my daughter’s life. They may never know it, but to me, they are heroes.”
Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Recent snowstorms and severe weather in many parts of the country have forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing more than 20,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
There is an upcoming blood donation opportunity in the Sidney area on Tuesday, March 26, from 12:30 to 6 p.m. at the St. Matthew’s Parish Center, 310 7th St. SE. Individuals of all blood types – especially type O are asked to make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 406-868-0911.