MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -- The American Red Cross is calling on all eligible donors to give blood to help make sure a safe and stable blood supply is available over the coming weeks.
The most critical current need is for donors with Type O blood, as Type O blood makes up over half of the total blood requested by the more than 100 hospitals served in the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region.
Below are the types the Red Cross currently needs to ensure that blood stocks are at the proper levels:
- O Positive
- O Negative
- B Negative
Because O Negative is considered "universal donor" blood, it can be used to treat trauma patients in an emergency when time is of the essence and the patient's blood type is unknown.
This makes it an extremely important part of a safe and stable blood supply, and there is always a tremendous demand for this type of blood due to its versatility. O Positive blood is the most common type, and can be transfused into patients with positive blood types.
B Negative is a rare blood type, and often, when an emergency need is realized, there is no time for B Negative donors to respond. These factors make it especially important that the American Red Cross has a stable supply of both O Negative and B Negative blood types at all times.
Donors are needed each and every day to make sure that everyone who needs blood receives blood. Under normal circumstances, the Alabama & Central Gulf Coast Region must collected roughly 800 units per day to make sure hospital requests are filled, and one of the best ways to avoid a dangerous emergency shortage is to give regularly at Red Cross blood drives and donor centers.
To give blood, one must be 17 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Please bring photo identification and make sure to hydrate yourself and eat well in the 48 hours leading up to donation. If you cannot donate, please ask someone to donate in your place.
The Red Cross will be hosting many public drives over the coming weeks in an effort to bolster the blood supply:
American Red Cross Blood Drives
11/07/2008 - 12/14/2008