DENVER – Blood banks across the country are scrambling to recruit donors to fill a deficit in blood supplies following the 4th of July holiday weekend.
At Bonfils Blood Center in Denver, staff aim to have a four-day supply of all blood types on hand at all times in case of emergencies. Due to a dip in donations before and after the holiday, the supply for O-positive and O-negative types has dropped to only two days' worth.
O-negative blood donors are especially needed because O-negative is a “universal” blood type, meaning it can be transfused into any recipient. Most other blood types are only safe to give to one or two other types.
Anyone who is 18 or older (16 and older with parental consent), in good health and weighing at least 110 pounds can donate blood. Overseas travel, sexual activity and other factors can affect eligibility to donate.