Red Cross: Supply for Type O-neg 'critically low'

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The American Red Cross says type O-negative blood supplies have dropped to critically low levels.

According to Red Cross officials, a shortage of type O negative blood often occurs during the summer months when fewer donors are giving because of summer vacations and schools approaching summer break are hosting fewer drives.

Type O-negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, ARC officials said. Type O-negative donors are needed to help prevent the supply from declining further.

"The American Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to help recruit type O-negative blood donations to help make up for this shortfall," said Delisa English, CEO for the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region. "While all blood types are needed during the summer months, we urge those eligible donors with O-negative blood type to make and keep appointments to give blood in the upcoming days to help restore the inventory level."

Eligible volunteer blood donors are asked to call 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to find a blood drive and to make appointments.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.