FARMINGTON, Conn. - The American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges eligible donors to give now to help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations. 

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical. That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day. While just 7 percent of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.

"All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals," said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. "Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often."

The Red Cross collected approximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations, and schools, including high schools and colleges, begin to host fewer blood drives in late spring as school years end. Because these drives account for about 20 percent of blood donations during the school year, less drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.

Upcoming local blood drives

June 28

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Ave. in New London, noon to 5 p.m.

July 2

Gales Ferry Firehouse, 1772 Route 12 in Gales Ferry, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

July 5

Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd. in Waterford, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

July 8

St. Bernard’s School, 1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

July 10

Hilton Garden Inn, 224 Gold Star Highway in Groton, 1 to 6 p.m.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson, 951 Bank St. in New London, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

July 12

Stoneridge Retirement Community, 186 Jerry Browne Rd. in Mystic, 1 to 6 p.m.

Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd. in Waterford, noon to 6 p.m.

July 15

Ocean Community YMCA, 1 Harry Austin Dr. in Mystic, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

July 17

Hoxie Firehouse, 34 Broadway Ave. in Mystic, 1 to 6 p.m.

July 18

Groton City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian St. Ext. in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

July 19

VNA of Southeastern CT, 403 North Frontage Rd. in Waterford, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

July 23

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

July 24

Holiday Inn, 35 Governor Winthrop Blvd. in New London, 1 to 6 p.m.

United Methodist – Gales Ferry, 9 Chapman Lane in ales Ferry, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

July 26

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Ave. in New London, noon to 5 p.m.

Stonington Police, 173 S. Broad St. in Pawcatuck, 1 to 6 p.m.

July 29

Greentree Manor, 4 Greentree Dr. in Waterford, 1 to 6 p.m.

July 31

Cardinal Honda, 531 Route 12 in Groton, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group