There's a shortage of O+ and O- blood types in the area.
With the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend coming up, The Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross is encouraging everyone who has is able to give blood. "While the arrival of warmer weather and sunny days is a welcome change, it can mean a serious drop in blood collections," says CEO Gary Ouellette, in a statement. "High schools and colleges are now unavailable for blood drives, and even committed blood donors can become caught up with summer travel, family outings and outdoor activities."
The Red Cross says there's a shortage of some blood types in the area. "Right now, we are teetering on emergency levels for both O+ and O- which means we have less than two days supply on our shelves," says Katie Turner, a spokeswoman for the Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross. "We do have a little bit of blood shortage with certain types."
The O blood types are called the universal blood types, because they can be transfused to everyone.
Turner is urging regular donors and some people who've never given before to roll up their sleeves. Anyone who is at least 17 years of age, and weighs 110 pounds or more can give blood. They must be feeling well on the day of donation, and not have had any recent piercings or tattoos.
Donors can give blood every eight weeks.
To schedule a blood donation, call 1-800-Red-Cross.
While most of the blood is used for trauma patients, Turner says other persons also need blood, including transplant recipients and those undergoing cancer treatment. "People who are suffering from chronic blood disorders, such as Sickle Cell Disease, pre-mature babies, mothers who have had a difficult delivery a lot of times will need blood transfusions," she says.