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July 20, 2004 > Bay Area Blood Crisis: Type-O Blood Needed Now

Bay Area Blood Crisis: Type-O Blood Needed Now

Blood Supply Down to Next Few Hours

by Sara O'Brien

The American Red Cross has urgently requested that Bay Area residents make appointments now to donate blood. The supply of type O blood is down to less than half a day's needs. Type O is known as the universal blood type because any patient can receive type O negative blood while 86% can receive type O+ blood in an emergency.

All blood donors are needed, but the shortage of Type O is the worst of all blood shortages because the type must be available to treat trauma patients as well as meet the transfusion needs of all type O patients.

"Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood," says Red Cross spokeswoman Sara O'Brien. "With family vacations, school closings and the long holiday weekend, the blood supply has reached critically low levels. We have collected 20% less blood than we expected, and needed to, collect so far this month."

Donating blood takes about an hour, with the actual donation lasting about seven minutes. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in general good health. It is recommended blood donors drink plenty of water and eat a light meal before giving blood.

To help us accommodate all eligible donors we encourage donors to call or go online today to schedule a blood donation appointment within the next few days. Donors are needed today, this week and this month. Blood is perishable, the need is urgent and we wish to accommodate all those available immediately and as well as encourage appointments throughout July.

American Red Cross 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543)

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