Local Hospitals Facing Type O Blood Shortages

Local News

Hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley are urgently seeking blood donors. Doctors say they are experiencing a shortage in a type of blood used in most surgeries to save lives of patients.

Hospitals like Doctors Hospital at Renaissance are in dire need of Type O Blood. This type of blood is universal and in high demand because majority of people are Type O Positive.

Dennis Davis, DHR Laboratory Vice President says, “It’s off the shelf meaning that on the shelf we usually have about 50 units of Type O Positive Blood that we store everyday as far as our starting inventory level. We got about 14 as of right now. If you’re talking about a cardiac procedure that a person is Type O Positive or Type O Negative, or if you’re talking about one of our precious babies or someone in trauma, or women’s health, those are the type of things that if they do require that product then we can have issues as far as the physician won’t be able to treat them as they want to.”

Frank Esparza, Vitalant Regional Director says the center typically sees a shortage around this time due to the holiday break, as about 35 percent of their blood bank comes from high school students. “The majority of people here in the Valley are Type O Negative or Type A. We need all those Type O Negative donors to come in and help us. When there’s an accident we don’t know the blood type. The first thing they give that patient is Type O Negative blood.”

Doctors urge the community to donate blood regardless of blood type. Vitalant offers a rewards program allowing donors to earn gift cards for donating blood. If you would like to donate blood you can visit businesses set up for donations around the Rio Grande Valley including Vitalant. Their location is at 1400 South 6th Street in McAllen.

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