Red Cross seeking donors during critical type O blood shortage

Press Staff Writer

        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 or platelets through June 10 will receive a $5 gift card via email. Additionally, those who come to give May 24-28 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.”
        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, fewer drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.
        Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 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.
        Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass® are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.
        Local blood donation opportunities include:
        • May 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Maumee Bay Resort, 1750 Park Rd.
        • May 28, noon-6 p.m., Hope Community Church, 5650 Starr Ave.
        • June 7, 1-6 p.m., The Intersection Church, 1640 South Coy Rd.
        • May 23, 1-6 p.m., St John United Church of Christ, 1213 Washington St.
        Oak Harbor:
        • June 6, noon-6 p.m., Community Market Oak Harbor VFW, 251 W. Main St.
        • May 24, noon-6 p.m., Otterbein Portage Valley Senior Lifestyle Choices, 20311 Pemberville Rd.
        • June 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 220 Cedar St.


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