Supplies of O negative are at critical levels at the regional blood center, which is the sole provider of all blood components to more than 50 hospitals and healthcare facilities.
“The reason why these donors are so crucial to our local patients is because their blood can be received by anyone, regardless of the patient’s blood type,” said Liz Culler, M.D., medical director for Blood Assurance. “In an emergency situation when patients need an immediate blood transfusion, they are given O negative blood. Then, once the patient is stable and their own blood type can be determined, that’s when they begin receiving transfusions of their own type, which helps to reserve those units of O negative for other emergency situations.”
Due to an increase in the usage of blood by area hospitals, there is also a need for types A negative, B negative, O positive and A positive.
If local residents do not know their blood type, but have donated with Blood Assurance before, they can visit any location or blood drive and present a photo ID to learn their type.
To determine if you are eligible to donate blood, call 1-800-962-0628 or use the Live Chat feature at www.bloodassurance.org. You can also ask questions about donating blood at www.facebook.com/bloodassurance.