Blood Assurance is issuing a plea for blood donations as the inventory levels of type O negative have dropped to a critical level.
The current shortage is due to an increased usage of blood by local hospitals for traumas and other procedures.
O negative is the universal blood type, given to patients in an emergency situation when their own blood type is unknown.
To be eligible to donate, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and T-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids - avoiding caffeine - and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.
Many of Blood Assurance’s donor centers are open on Saturdays and blood drives are scheduled throughout the area. To find a location near you, visit www.bloodassurance.org/locations or call 800 962-0628. Donors can also inquire about upcoming blood drives in their area by visiting the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bloodassurance.