Donors needed as Arizona faces critical blood shortage

January 3, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is facing a critical shortage of blood after donations fell during the holidays, the state’s primary blood supplier said Friday as it issued an urgent call for donors.

Arizona has less than a day’s supply of the universal blood type, O-Negative, and less than a two-day supply of O-Positive, which can be used on anyone with a positive blood type, according to Vitalant, the organization formerly known as United Blood Services. The group provides blood for 62 Arizona hospitals. There are shortages of other blood types as well.

Blood supplies always fall during the holidays, the slowest period for donations, but this year’s shortage is more severe than typical, said Sue Thew, a spokeswoman for Vitalant.

“It’s bad enough to think about people being in the hospital this time of year,” Thew said. “They shouldn’t have to worry about having an ample blood supply.”

Vitalant is seeking up to 600 donors for a massive blood drive on Sunday in Tempe. Scheduled blood drives in other areas can be found at BloodHero.com.