Red Cross: Critical Shortage Exists for Some Blood Types
Posted January 14, 2008 12:26 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The Red Cross put out a call Monday for blood donors, citing critical shortages of three blood types.
Less than a day's supply of types O negative, B negative and A negative were available, despite repeated calls to donors to give blood over the past month, Red Cross officials said in a statement.
“It is important to note that, coming off of a major holiday period, the need for blood never takes a holiday,” Robert F. Fechner, chief executive of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region, said in the statement. “In addition to the holiday challenges, during the winter, donations drop and the supply of blood often dips to dangerously low levels.”
While all blood types are needed, the low supply of type O blood is of particular concern, officials said. Type O is the most commonly used blood type. O negative blood can be used for all patients, but it is often essential to the treatment of trauma patients, newborns and women who are pregnant.