Blood type O-negative in high demand

News Center 23
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POSTED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 4:37pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 7:12am

“It makes you feel awesome to give to other people.”

Blood that is, especially if it's type O-negative. This type is the most sought after because it is the so-called "universal donor" type. Meaning, it can be transfused into anyone - regardless of the recipient's blood type.

“Universal being that it is like a puzzle piece that fits in every puzzle. I mean, no matter what blood type you get, O-negative is compatible with yours. So it’s very, it’s like gold to us."

But like gold, it's hard to come by. Only a reported seven percent of the world's population is O-negative. And because it's so rare, United Blood Services always supplies local hospitals with it.

“This is the hospital services department of United Blood Services. This is where they store, package, and ship human blood to the 18 hospitals in the Valley.”

Hospitals and blood donation facilities save this blood in case of emergencies, when the blood is needed more than ever. That's why institutions like United Blood Services set up several events this summer to encourage all Valley residents to donate blood."

“It’s very, very important that we do have a good supply, especially during emergency situations, trauma situations, um, you know, when someone is in the emergency room and we don’t have time to cross-check or match the blood type, um, you know we reach for O-negative and you know, we save time and lives that way.”

“Just in case, you know, we have to help people, in case there is a need.”

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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