RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh blood center announced on Wednesday that the O negative blood supply has reached a critical level.
The Blood Connection in Raleigh is the primary blood provider for hospitals in the Southeast region.
Low supply, the approaching summer season and sustained low donor turnout could result in O negative blood shortage, that could disrupt patient care.
Last week, The Blood Connection was activated through the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps to send O negative blood to Uvalde after the elementary school shooting. The need for O negative blood has since been highlighted by that tragedy but has not resulted in an increase in O negative donations.
The summer months are usually the hardest season to collect enough blood. It is estimated that summer travel will increase by 16 percent, and 75 percent of Americans are expected to take a summer vacation. As that happens, the fear is that patients will continue to be overlooked, a release said.
“During my labor, unbeknownst to anyone… I was bleeding internally but no one knew it and it was not discovered until immediately after our daughter was born,” patient Kristen Odom shared. “After I came out of the ICU, my husband and I realized how much blood I needed, and the fact that donated blood was the key factor that turned everything around.”
O negative blood is the most transfused blood type for traumas and emergencies, the news release said. O negative blood donors are often referred to as the “universal donor” since everyone, no matter their blood type, can receive O negative blood. The Blood Connection aims to have a five to seven-day supply of O negative blood but has recently been down to a one-day supply, the news release said.