Oklahoma Blood Institute seeking more O negative blood amid shortage

The Oklahoma Blood Institute needs more O negative blood donors after losing hundreds of the...
The Oklahoma Blood Institute needs more O negative blood donors after losing hundreds of the universal blood units a month due to recent blood bag shortages.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 5:19 PM CST
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KXII) - The Oklahoma Blood Institute needs more O negative blood donors after losing hundreds of the universal blood units a month due to recent blood bag shortages.

OBI said O negative is the only universal blood type, which means it can be transfused in an emergency to any blood recipients, regardless of their blood types.

Specialized bags are required to safely draw “double dose units” of blood from larger-sized donors, according to a press release. Without this efficient, bonus-giving option, OBI is struggling to collect enough O negative blood, and more donors must be recruited to make up for the lost production.

OBI said due to its universality, O negative blood is by far the most in-demand type used by area hospitals.

OBI adds that the urgent supply chain issue could very quickly impact area hospitals’ transfusions of trauma victims, premature babies, and sickle cell disease patients unless more O negative donors step up now to donate blood.

“Sufficient O negative donations are a daily requirement for our mission,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “When we don’t have the specialty bags we need to draw our doubly effective donations, we put both emergency and routine response capabilities at risk.”

OBI said donating blood takes about an hour and can save up to three lives. Donors can make appointments and find donation locations at obi.org or by calling 877-340-8777.