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Need for “O” Blood Donors


The American Red Cross is in special need of type O-positive and type O-negative blood donors.  For example, in the Western Lake Erie Regions, there is a little over a one day’s supply of both types—the Western Lake Erie Regions needs an average of 44 pints of O-negative per day, and 145 pints of O-positive.


Type O blood is particularly important in the treatment of premature infants and trauma victims when there is no time to type the patient’s blood.  Ohio twins Samuel and Joseph celebrated their fourth birthday this summer thanks to generous type O donors.  The twins were born four months premature, which meant many blood transfusions through various treatments to stabilize them as they continued to develop.  “If it weren’t for blood donors, Samuel and Joseph would not have survived the first day,” explained their mother, Heather.  


Thirty-eight percent of the United States population has type O-positive blood, making it the most common of the eight blood types, and about 84 percent of the population are able to receive it.  People with type O-negative blood are particularly in demand. 


Only 7 percent of the population is O-negative, but it is the "universal donor," meaning people of all blood types can receive type O-negative red blood cells.  Because a single trauma patient can use dozens of type O blood products in just the first few hours of treatment, a strong type O inventory is vitally important.


If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. All donors need to present positive identification. For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit:  givebloodtoday.org





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