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Red Cross needs O negative blood donors

By Special to The News-Argus
Published in News on June 22, 2011 1:46 PM

The American Red Cross is making an appeal to donors to give type O negative blood as the supply has dropped to a critically low level.

That's because O negative is in high demand because it can be used in patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations, said Kimberly Berrier, senior donor recruitment representative with the Carolinas Blood Services Region, of which Wayne County is a part.

"Type O negative donors are needed now to help prevent type O negative blood supplies from declining further," she said. "The 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 meet the needs of patients in our community."

Donations of all blood types typically drop during the summer months due to school being out, vacations and fewer blood drives.

But type O negative supplies get dangerously low during this time.

"Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood," Mrs. Berrier said. "The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals, and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each week day to meet the demand.

"Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses, receive transfusions every day."

Donors must be at least 17, or 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.

For more information about Wayne County's blood drives, call the Red Cross office at 735-7201.