UBS issues emergency critical appeal for all blood types

United Blood Services has issued an emergency critical public appeal for donors of all blood types. Patient transfusion rates have increased to 13 percent higher than normal, causing a shortage.

The transfusion rates combined with low donations over the Memorial Day holiday has put an additional strain on already low supply.

As of Thursday morning, reserves of blood have been depleted to 42 percent under required levels, leaving only one and half days supply on hand. Because it takes 24-36 hours to test and process blood donations prior to release to patients, blood is being transfused as fast as UBS can deliver to hospitals.

Donors of all blood types are being urged to donate much needed blood supplies now.

Additionally, hospitals are in need of Type O blood as orders remain unfilled. In an emergency medical situation, where there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type, medical staff relies on Type O to sustain a patient’s life until they can be stabilized.

O-negative blood types are referred to as universal donors. While only six percent of the population has O-negative, 100 percent of patients can receive O-negative transfusion. Twelve to 14 percent of all red blood cell transfusions are O-negative.

The most commonly transfused blood type is O-positive, of which 37 percent of the population has but 85 percent of patients can receive. Forty-two percent of all red blood cell transfusions are from O-positive donors.

Out-of-state resources to meet local needs have been exhausted with blood centers nationwide are recovering from the decline of donations during Memorial Day weekend. UBS provides 100 percent of blood needed for transfusions for eight hospitals in 11 counties in the Concho Valley.

Approximately 80 donors are needed daily to meet patient transfusion needs.

Mobile blood drives are planned for:

Friday

11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. – San Angelo City Hall, 72 W. College Ave.

Saturday

2 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.. – St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rowena

Noon to 3:15 p.m. – Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Harper Park

Donors can also go to the United Blood Services center, 2020 W. Beauregard Ave. The center has extended its hours to noon to 6 p.m. Thursday; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Walk-ins are welcome to donate, but appointments are encouraged.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call UBS at 325-223-7500.