We Are Blood in critical need of Type O blood

Jan 09, 2018, 00:42
We Are Blood in critical need of Type O blood

The American Red Cross is asking people in Central Washington to donate blood in response to potential shortages in the eastern United States.

Todd Kulman - with the Red Cross of MI - says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season.

This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system - once local patient needs are met - to help ensure blood is available when and where it's needed most, the release said.

January is officially known as National Blood Donor Month. "We have been doing this for decades at this sight and we are trying to respond to this need by allowing our employees to come up here at a convenient opportunity to donate blood".

Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy. Still, all eligible donors are encouraged to participate. However, Kulman says anyone who is sick should delay donating blood until they feel better. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Over 40 hospitals and medical facilities in a 10-county area depend on the supply of blood provided by We Are Blood.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

While all blood and donation types are welcome, there's a critical need for type O-negative and platelets, according to the release. Their shelf life is very short - only five days - while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

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