Midwest Region Blood Services is grappling with a critical shortage of donated blood. Collecting from 93 counties in parts of Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, the agency provides blood and products derived from it for eighty hospitals in the region. Mike Bartling, a spokesman for Donor Recruitment, says O negative is the universal donor, which anyone can be given without a life-threatening reaction — and when emergency leaves no time to type and cross-match a victim’s blood, they can safely give them a transfusion of o-negative. Last Thursday he says the center ran completely out of O-Negative. Bloodmobiles hold six to eight collection stops a day in towns all over the region, as Bartling says Midwest Region Blood Services strives to maintain a three- to five-day blood supply on hand. He says they’d feel okay with three days, at least, but for some time they haven’t even been able to keep it at that level. Bartling says he understands people are busy especially during the summer, but he asks people to remember blood is needed everyday. If you gave blood before the first week in June, you’re ready to go again. New donors can find a location or one of the 6 to 8 collection sites every day done by the center’s traveling bloodmobiles, by calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE.
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