Red Cross issues 'urgent' call for donors, especially those with 'critical' type O blood

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SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross issued an “urgent call” for donors Monday, but especially those with type O blood.

As of Monday, the organization had less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patients and medical treatments, the Red Cross said in a news release.

“With influenza escalating across the country and preventing some donors from giving, and winter weather threatening to cancel blood drives, the Red Cross now has a critical shortage of type O blood and urgently needs donors to restock the shelves,” reads a portion of the release.

Type O-positive blood is the most transfused blood type, according to the organization, and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any type — the “universal donor,” according to physicians. Type O-negative blood, which is in just 7% of the population, is what hospital staffs reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s specific type.

Donors of all types can make an appointment to give blood or platelets using the Red Cross Donor app, online at, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Editor's note: The content of this article was taken from a press release sent out by The American Red Cross. This is not information gathered by a reporter.

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