Indiana Blood Center pleads for O-negative donations

The Indiana Blood Center reached a critically low supply of O-negative blood on Monday, causing the center to send out an urgent call for donations, reported the Tribune Star.

The Indianapolis-based blood center held less than a one-day supply of O-negative blood Monday and could not fill hospital orders for the universal blood type, said Andrea Fagan, director of public relations and marketing for the center. O-negative blood can immediately be transfused to a trauma patient when there is no time to test the individual's blood type.

As of Monday afternoon, 108 people scheduled appointments to donate at one of the blood center's seven locations. The center needs 550 donors every day to maintain a sufficient blood supply for the hospitals it serves, according to the report.

If the supply of O-negative blood completely runs out, Indiana Blood Center would have to import the blood from other states, causing a time delay for patients who need an immediate transfusion, according to Ms. Fagan.

"Treating those patients is what gets jeopardized," she said. "Surgeons can always reschedule a surgery, but you have to respond in the moment when someone comes in."

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