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Red Cross needs Type O blood donations

Published June 12. 2019 12:24PM

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.

Currently, 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,” Numark said.

The Red Cross collected approximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply.

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting

Upcoming blood drives include:

• June 15 at 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. at the Hotel of Horror, Saylorsburg

• June 15 at 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tamaqua Masonic Lodge F&AM 238

• June 19 from noon to 6 p.m. at Western Pocono Community Library, Brodheadsville

• June 19 at 2 -7 p.m. at Tamaqua Community Ambulance

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