Area-Wide Shortage On O- & O+ Blood Types Has Virginia Blood Services Encouraging Donations

Virginia Blood Services is calling on donors of all types, especially blood type O Negative or O Positive to visit any of its Community Donor Centers, Fixed Sites or Mobile Blood Drives throughout the Commonwealth as soon as possible.

The blood bank has reported a dangerously low shortage on the supply of blood locally, especially for these two very important blood types. Virginia Blood Services typically keeps a three day supply of O Negative and O Positive blood on hand in order to provide for local hospitals. Currently the blood center has a 1.5 day supply of O Negative and a

1.4 day supply of O Positive readily available.

O Negative red blood cells are called “universal” meaning they can be transfused to almost any patient in need. Only 6.6% of the population has O Negative blood. In the event of an emergency, trauma patients and accident victims are given a fighting chance at life due to O Negative blood being readily available. Additionally, O Negative red blood cells are safest for newborn infants with under-developed immune systems.

O Positive is the most common blood type and therefore needed by many patients.

Approximately 1 in 3 people have O Positive blood.

In preparation for their donation, donors are asked to eat well and stay hydrated. The donation appointment takes about an hour (the donation itself takes only around ten minutes) and is both safe and comfortable.

Proper ID is required to donate blood. A Virginia Blood Services or military ID, driver’s license or employee badge with a picture and full name are all approved forms of ID. A birth certificate along with a picture ID that includes the donor’s full name will also be accepted.

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