Need for negative blood type donors critical

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers are on the lookout for negative donors, and they don’t mean negative attitudes.

Shelby County coordinator Dawn Bruner said hospitals in the area are always low on blood after the holiday season. But she said they are particularly low on Rh–negative blood.

“It’s the type blood we get requests for the most because it’s a universal type –- it can be given to anyone, regardless of their own blood type,” Bruner said.

The difficult task lies in finding donors. According to LifeSouth, only 14 percent of Americans have an Rh–negative blood type, while only seven percent of Americans have O-negative blood.

“With increased usage at our hospitals, our normal collection of Rh-negative donors has not been enough to keep up with the demand, so we need to appeal to any donors with negative blood types to please donate as soon as possible,” said Ashley Smith, director of LifeSouth’s Central Alabama District.

Donors must be at least 17, or 16 with written parental consent, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good health. Bruner added that while these particular blood types are in high demand, all blood types are needed.

Blood drives are being held at the following Shelby County locations over the next week: Thursday, Jan. 22 Central State Bank in Calera from 8 a.m.–noon and Central State Bank at exit No. 234 from 1 p.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 23 at the Columbiana Health and Rehab from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., the CVS in Alabaster from 3 p.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 25 at Crossbridge Church of Christ (Brookhighland Parkway) from 8:30 a.m.–noon; Tuesday, Jan. 26 at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen Health & Wellness Festival from 7 a.m.–1 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Lowe’s in Alabaster from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

For more information, call toll-free (888) 795-2707.