Red Cross: O-, A-, B- needed

Published 1:07 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

There’s a special need for O-negative, A-negative and B-negative blood types, according to a spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

Alicia Anger, spokesperson for the American Red Cross, said Monday that eligible donors are encouraged to help ensure a sufficient and diverse blood supply by giving blood in February.

“Since the beginning of the year, widespread flu and inclement winter weather in some parts of the country have prevented many regular donors from making or keeping their blood donation appointments,” she said. “Healthy and diverse blood donors are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply.”

Anger said that diversity in blood donors is crucial because red blood cells carry markers that determined one’s blood type, and certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups.

“Blood must be matched very closely for those patients with rare blood types or for those who need repeated transfusions,” she said. “Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity.”

Additionally, all blood types are needed.

While no blood drives are scheduled this week in Covington County, locals are encouraged to call 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age or 16 years with parental consent in some states, and weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.