Dire need for blood donations in the Northland

Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) declares a blood emergency. According to a press release Monday, the emergency call is due to a period of low donor turnout because of holidays and school breaks. Organizers say there is currently a 2-3-day supply of type O negative blood, as well as a critical shortage of platelets.

According to MBC, Type O negative is the universal blood type and represents only 6% of the U.S. population. However it is important to remember that all donation types are needed.

“We are asking our community to respond during this blood emergency so that we are able to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals we serve,” Kathy Geist, Vice President at Memorial Blood Centers said in a press release. “We are calling on eligible donors to make an immediate blood or platelet donation, and it is our hope that we’ll see first time and youth donors answer our call for help.”

Organizers with MBC says the number of youth and first-time blood donors are down nearly 50% since 2019. At one time, youth donations represented 25% of the blood supply, but according to MBC, that number is now 10% of the country’s donations.

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. To read current eligibility guidelines, visit mbc.org or call 1.888.448.3253. To make an appointment, donors can call 1.888.448.3253 or visit mbc.org.