Red Cross needs critical type O blood for ERs

The American Red Cross is urgently seeking type O blood donors to help replenish a dwindling supply.

The organization said there are fewer blood drives this time of year because of spring break and busy end-of-the-school-year schedules. Hospitals in the area currently have less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms.

While only 7% of people in the country have type O negative blood, it’s the blood type that hospitals use most often. It can be transfused to patients with any blood type and it is what ER doctors reach for when there isn’t enough time to test a trauma patient.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

The Red Cross is offering a $5 Amazon gift card to anyone who donates blood through June 10, regardless of the blood type.

To make a donation, or to find or host a blood drive, download the Red Cross app, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. More information about the spring promotion is also available at