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Red Cross in urgent need of blood donations due to critical type O blood supply shortage

Those who donate will receive an Amazon gift card.

ATLANTA — The American Red Cross is facing a 'critical shortage' of type O blood -- the blood type most needed by medical facilities. 

Ronnika McFall, a spokesperson for the organization says the Red Cross is asking eligible type O blood donors to give now. 

"With less than a two-day supply of blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical, medical treatments and patient care can be directly impacted," according to the press release.

Loosely translated, that means there are six units of type O blood currently available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 units are needed every day. 

Unfortunately, blood shortages are common, and it's oftentimes has a direct impact on patient care.

“When I ask our blood bank director the toughest part of her job, she always tells me it is these shortages and how to deal with them,” said.

People who would like to give blood can make an appointment through the Blood Donor App, RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767. 

As an extra incentive, those who donate blood or platelets May 14-June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card, McFall says. 

More Facts about type O blood:

  • 7% of the population has type O negative blood 
  • Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type 
  • Type O blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations
  • Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations

**Facts provided by the American Red Cross.