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Red Cross: Blood Supply at Critically Low Levels, Donors Needed

Blood donations are urgently needed across Northern California.

Red Cross' Northern California Blood Services issued a press release Monday indicating that blood supplies across this area of the state have fallen to "critically low levels," and blood donations are desperately needed.

In particular, supplies of blood types O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative are especially low.   

According to Jeff Meyer, CEO of the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services, “Distributions to hospitals of types O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative are outpacing donations, creating a critical need for those blood types.”

Meyer also said that, “Overall, blood donations are down in the first five months of 2012, compared to the same period last year. As a result, there is almost half the amount of readily available blood in the Red Cross inventory at this point in time.”

The Red Cross is calling on eligible blood donors to schedule and keep a blood donation appointment as soon as a convenient location and time are available.  

Eligible donors with types O positive, O negative, B negative or A negative blood are encouraged to double the difference their donation can make by donating via the Red Cross' new, innovative "double red cell technology," where available. 

Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in 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.

Where Can Local Residents Make Blood Donations?

To find out about blood donation opportunities, contact the San Francisco Chapter Headquarters and Service Center at 415-427-8000. You can also call the toll-free number 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) anytime. 

You can also look up where community blood drives are taking place all over the San Francisco Bay Area online. For example, a blood drive in the San Leandro area is taking place on June 13.

For more information about donating blood through the Red Cross, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

For more information on Red Cross in the Bay Area, visit www.redcrossbayarea.org.

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