The supply of type O negative blood at the American Red Cross in Oregon has dropped to critically low levels. Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O negative donors are needed now to help prevent the type O negative blood supply from declining further.

"The American Red Cross has convenient locations and blood drive hours and we are 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," says Daphne Mathew, spokesperson for the American Red Cross Blood Services-Pacific Northwest 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," Mathew added. "The Red Cross monitors the blood inventory on a daily basis and when we see a trend or shortage emerging, we communicate the need to our generous blood donors to help us make up the shortfall,"

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

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. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to more than 80 hospitals and must have more than 1,000 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

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