LifeSource encourages donations of O-, O+ blood types due to shortage

 
Submitted by LifeSource
Updated 7/12/2018 2:05 PM
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  • Jeff Silberstein of Buffalo Grove donates during a LifeSource blood drive, sponsored by Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, in Northbrook earlier this year.

    Jeff Silberstein of Buffalo Grove donates during a LifeSource blood drive, sponsored by Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, in Northbrook earlier this year. Courtesy of Dave Silbar/SilbarPR

If you are blood type O Negative or O Positive, then LifeSource is asking that you visit one of its 17 Chicago area Community Donor Centers as soon as possible.

The blood center has reported a critical shortage on the supply of blood locally, especially for these two very important types.

O Negative blood cells are called "universal" meaning they can be transfused to almost any patient in need. Only 6.6 percent of the population has O Negative blood. In the event of an emergency, trauma patients and accident victims are given a fighting chance at life due to O Negative blood transfusion. You may hear that "O Negative blood is the type they carry on the medical helicopters". This is often the case when there is no time to ask questions.

Additionally, O Negative red blood cells are safest for newborn infants with under-developed immune systems. It is also important to remember that while donors of all blood types can receive O Negative blood, those with O Negative blood can generally only receive O Negative blood. Approximately 1 in 15 people have O Negative blood

O Positive is the most common blood type and therefore needed by so many patients. Annually, more than 120,000 units of blood, platelets and plasma are required to meet the needs of the hospitals we serve, and your blood type is crucial to maintaining an adequate supply. Approximately 1 in 3 people have O Positive blood.

LifeSource urges both first-time donors and existing donors of all blood types to visit www.LifeSource.org or call (877) 543-3768 to schedule an appointment to donate.

In preparation for their donation, donors are asked to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with proper identification. Proper ID is required to donate blood.