United Blood Services is experiencing a critical shortage of O-negative blood.

O-negative blood donors are asked to donate as soon as possible. Blood bank officials are asking for O-negative donors specifically to replenish the O-negative blood supply. Families of O-negative donors who may not know their blood type are also encouraged to donate in hopes that their first-time donation reveals they, too, are an O-negative blood type donor.

United Blood Services began experiencing difficulty maintaining a steady supply of O-negative blood in March, and has continued to find patient usage outpacing incoming O-negative donations, leading to the critical shortage.

Known as the universal blood type for red cells, O-negative blood type is critical in emergency situations when there is no time to determine a patient’s own type. O-negative is also needed for premature babies and infants under six months of age who may require a lifesaving transfusion.

Click here to find a blood drive near you, or give United Blood Services a call at 877.UBS.HERO. In April, donors receive additional reward points for movie tickets and more in a Hero Rewards Program

If you are nervous about donating, swing by a center and ask for a free blood-type screening to learn how your blood type can save a life.

For more information, call United Blood Services at 805.543.4290.


» San Luis Obispo — 4119 Broad St., Suite 100 in San Luis Obispo

» Santa Maria — 1770 S. Broadway in Santa Maria

» Santa Barbara — 4213 State St. in Santa Barbara

» Ventura — 2223 Eastman Ave., Suite A in Ventura

— Scott Edward is the recruitment director for United Blood Services.