Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 4:32 pm | Fair 64º


United Blood Services Still in Need of Type O-Negative

Donations are needed ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend

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

The shortage has hit just as blood bank officials are gearing up to prepare for the Fourth of July weekend.

United Blood Services is urging O-negative blood donors to donate immediately and for other eligible donors to remember to give before July 4.

While donations of all blood types are encouraged, donors with type O-negative blood, or those who have never donated before, are especially needed. Holidays such as this bring an increased risk of emergencies and accidents, and it is O-negative blood that is often used to help patients when there is no time to determine their own blood type. As a “universal donor,” blood type O-negative can be transfused to anyone.

To say thank you, each volunteer blood donor will receive a certificate for a medium one-topping Domino’s Pizza.

Donations may be made at the UBS Center Santa Barbara at 902 Laguna St., at the corner of Cañon Perdido, or at any of a number of community blood drives throughout the county. Donors are asked to make an appointment by calling United Blood Services at 805.965.7037 or toll-free at 800.715.3699, or clicking here. Just click on “Donate Blood” and type in a ZIP code to find a list of drives nearby.

Appointments are appreciated but not necessary. Walk-ins are also welcome, and will be honored as our appointment schedule allows.

You may donate blood if you are older than age 16, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors age 22 or younger.

The Santa Barbara Center hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (pizza served 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays), and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Closed Monday, July 4 in observance of the holiday.

— Janna Nichols is a marketing and communications specialist at United Blood Services.

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