Breaking News
More () »

Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

Arizona's blood supply critically low

All eligible donors are needed, but especially those with Type O blood.

PHOENIX — All eligible donors in Arizona, especially those with Type O blood, are needed as the state's blood supply is critically low due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic shutdowns that came along with it.

“Most people would probably be shocked to know that we’ve had to cancel over 850 blood drives due to school and business closures,” said Sue Thew, communications manager for Vitalant Arizona.

Vitalant is the nation’s largest independent, nonprofit blood services provider that focuses on providing blood and transfusion medicine services.

“[School and business closures] have resulted in a loss of about 25,000 blood donations for patients across the state,” Thew said.

A year later, opportunities to give blood are all the more important. Type O specifically is needed as it’s known as the "universal blood type," as it is the only blood type that can be received by anyone, regardless of their blood type.

“It’s the blood type people reach for when someone has an unplanned emergency, car accident, or when there is a shortage of other blood types,” Thew said.

Some Arizonan's, like 5-year-old Adelyn Troutman, rely on Arizona’s blood supply regularly. 

She was born with a rare blood disorder that prevents her from reproducing red blood cells. As a result, she receives blood transfusions every three weeks. It started when she was just two months old. 

"She just received her 81st blood transfusion...and she’s doing great with the transfusions," her dad, Matthew Troutman, said. “And that’s why the need for blood, because she relies on it to live and so many others do as well.”

You can schedule an appointment to donate by going to Vitalant's website and clicking the donate tab.

“Thanks for donating!” Adelyn said.

While there is no inherent risk of getting coronavirus when you donate blood, donors and staff are required to wear masks or reasonable cloth-based face coverings. Read our COVID-19 FAQs.

Find the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccines for Arizona and the United States on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.