Your View: The power of type O blood

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Your View: The power of type O blood
(Photo/American Red Cross)
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To the editor:

When every second counts, blood products can provide lifesaving care. The American Red Cross asks the public to give blood or platelets to keep hospitals prepared for all transfusion needs, includ- ing emergencies. Type O negative blood donors are especially needed.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type in the most serious situations. Type O positive blood is the most used blood type because it can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and are often given to trauma and surgery patients. Type O blood donors are ideal Power Red donors, which means they can safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation. Now, more people are able to give a Power Red donation – the minimum height has changed to 5’3” for female donors.

Medical traumas can quickly deplete hospital blood banks. Once patients are stabilized and their blood type is determined, they will receive a matching blood type, so it’s important donors of all types give now and help save lives by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities may be found by entering your zip code at RedCrossBood.org. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of iden- tification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states – 16 with parental consent where allowed by state law – weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

-Ashley Henyan, Regional communications director, American Red Cross

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