United Blood Services announces:

November 13, 2012 Billings, MT--United Blood Services today announced an urgent need for type O-negative blood donors. During the past several weeks, demand for type O-negative blood has outpaced the supply significantly.

Only six percent of the population has O-negative blood, yet at hospital trauma centers, sometimes as much as 15 percent of the blood transfused is O-negative. That’s because O-negative blood is the universal blood type.

“It can be given to anyone in an extreme emergency situation when there is no time to crossmatch the donor’s blood with the patient’s,” explained Lesli Asay, Donor Recruitment Director, United Blood Services, this area’s non-profit community blood service provider. “When you do the math, our community needs people who are O-negative to give blood at least twice as often as everyone else!”

Another special need for O-negative blood is in the treatment of babies. Neonatal care facilities require fresh units of O-negative blood each day to treat their tiny patients.

“Every 2-to-3 seconds in this country, someone needs blood. And you never know when you or someone you love will be the one. We all expect blood to be available when we need it, but only a few of those who can give actually roll up their sleeves. If you have O-negative blood, it’s time for you to get involved!” Asay said.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 year’s old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

As of 9 AM this morning, United Blood Services – Rocky Mountain had hospital orders for 58 type O-negative donations waiting to be filled.