Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 4:56 pm | Fair 75º

 
 
 
 

United Blood Services Issues Urgent Call for Type-O Donors

United Blood Services is issuing an urgent call for blood donors with O-type blood. Donations have declined since mid-March, and the demand has escalated, dropping the available supply of type O-negative and type O-positive to extremely low levels.

Blood center officials have concluded that an increase in Zika deferrals after Spring Break travels has unexpectedly caused a rapid decline in public responsiveness to donate blood.

Donors with type O (positive or negative) who are currently eligible are being urgently asked to donate at their nearest center or blood drive, and those who are not are encouraged to donate as soon as they become eligible.

Those with other blood types are asked to keep to their routine schedule of donating three times per year, in order to maintain an ample and steady supply.
 
It is the red blood cells of type O blood that are in the highest demand at local hospitals. O-negative blood is found in just 7 percent of the population. Known as the “universal donor,” this blood type can be transfused to anyone.

It is often transfused in emergency and trauma situations, when there is little time to type a patient’s blood. Patients often need multiple units, in some cases hundreds of units.

In the case of O-positive blood, 38 percent of the population has this blood type, making a match very likely. It can be safely transfused to a patient of any blood type that is also Rh positive; it is the most highly transfused blood type.

Multiple units may be needed by any one patient. O-positive blood is the most common blood type, making it one that is needed all the time.
 
O-positive and O-negative blood types make-up 45 percent of the U.S. population; however, almost 55 percent of blood transfusions to patients are O-blood types. If you feel healthy and have time to help, please make an appointment today.

Donations may be made at United Blood Services center locations in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo and a number of community blood drives happening throughout the region. 

Donors are asked to make an appointment by calling United Blood Services at 805.543.4290 or visiting www.Blood4Life.org. Appointments are appreciated, but not necessary. Walk-ins are also welcome and will be honored.

Sergio Coppa represents United Blood Services.

 

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