PHOENIX- United Blood Services announced it urgently needs donors of all blood types following a serious decline in blood donations leading up to and following the Fourth of July holiday.
The decline is happening nationwide leaving supplies across the country at "dangerously low levels," according to a United Blood Services press release. United Blood Services is receiving nearly 6,000 donations less than needed this month alone. The deficits are expected to continue through August.
The network strives to keep a 3-day supply of every blood type on the shelf at all times to be able to meet the needs of patients at the more than 60 hospitals it serves. According to United Blood Services, the current O-negative blood supply, the universal blood type, will only last one day.
“It’s the blood on the shelves that saves lives because tragedy can strike without a moment’s notice,” said Dirk Johnson, Southwest Division President for United Blood Services.
The non-profit organization is the sole provider for patient blood needs in 11 of the 15 counties statewide, including Maricopa County. More than 500 blood donors are needed every day to meet the needs of the 64 hospitals United Blood Services supplies to statewide, the network said.
There are six United Blood Service donation centers in the Valley, with locations in Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale and Scottsdale. Additionally, numerous of blood drives are scheduled for the upcoming weeks.
The donation process takes about an hour, but in only 10 minutes a donor can save up to three lives.
United Blood Services said donors must be 18 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health. Those who are 16 and 17 years old are eligible to donate with parental consent. The network said appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome.