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O-Negative Blood Needed!

One Blood

The supply of O-Negative blood is currently at extremely low levels, thanks to high usage in area hospitals.  An immediate appeal is being issued for all donors with that type to give ASAP.

O-Negative blood is the so-called “universal” blood type, meaning any patient can receive it regardless of their own blood type.  Because of that, O-negative is used extensively for trauma patients, premature babies, cancer patients and emergency surgeries.

“Since the schools are back, we’re thinking things are going to pick up,” said OneBlood spokeswoman Betty Roberts. “But there’s always a constant need for blood. So we’re just very diligent in having blood drives and encouraging people to come to our centers.”

There are eight different blood types and Roberts says donors who are not O-negative are just as welcome to stop by. One program to help those give is through what OneBlood calls “Target Your Type” – targeting the type of donation – red cells, plasma or platelets – that’s needed.

“If you can be an ‘Alex’ donor – which means you only give red blood cells – that eliminates the process of separating one unit of blood,” Roberts said. “’Target Your Type’ directs that type into the best possible way we can use it and quickly get it to the hospitals.”

Whenever blood is given, the turnaround – from donor to patient -- is fairly quick for two reasons: one, this is a perishable product, and two, there’s always a need for blood somewhere.

Besides treating accident victims and surgical patients, Betty Roberts says donors can also join the fight against breast cancer. Blood and platelets are used to replenish the body, which counters the harsh effects of treatment.

And OneBlood’s Betty Roberts reminds those thinking of giving blood that their donation – one unit or one pint – has the potential to save anywhere from 3-6 lives.

Those eligible to give blood, must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 lbs., and be in generally good health. A photo ID is required, and you can give whole blood about every 56 days.

More information on the nearest donation center and/or Big Red Bus can be found at oneblood.org.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.