Nov 14, 2012 4:10 PM by Melissa Canone
LAFAYETTE, LA--United Blood Services today announced an urgent need for type O-negative blood donors. During the past several weeks, demand for type O-negative blood has outpaced the supply significantly.
United Blood Services in Lafayette is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00am to 5:30pm, Wednesday from 8am to 6pm, Friday from 8am to 4:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday both from 8am to 2pm. Donors may call 337-235-LIFE (5433) or visit www.UnitedBloodServices.org to make a convenient appointment to donate. Walk-ins are always welcome. UBS in Lafayette address is 1503 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette.
Only six percent of the population has O-negative blood, yet at hospital trauma centers, sometimes as much as 15 percent of the blood transfused is O-negative. That's because O-negative blood is the universal blood type.
"It can be given to anyone in an extreme emergency situation when there is no time to crossmatch the donor's blood with the patient's," explained Mitzi Breaux, Donor Recruitment Supervisor, United Blood Services, this area's non-profit community blood service provider. "When you do the math, our community needs people who are O-negative to give blood at least twice as often as everyone else!"
Another special need for O-negative blood is in the treatment of babies. Neonatal care facilities require fresh units of O-negative blood each day to treat their tiny patients.
"Every 2-to-3 seconds in this country, someone needs blood. And you never know when you or someone you love will be the one. We all expect blood to be available when we need it, but only a few of those who can give actually roll up their sleeves. If you have O-negative blood, it's time for you to get involved!" Breaux said.
Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.
ABOUT UNITED BLOOD
United Blood Services has been this area's non-profit community blood provider since 1953, and serves patients in 50 hospitals in 32 surrounding parishes. The United Blood Services network is one of the nation's oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America's Blood Centers and the AABB, formerly the American Association of Blood Banks.