Red Cross offering $5 gift card for type 0 blood donation

RICHMOND, Va. — The American Red Cross is offering type 0 blood donors a special incentive as they are facing a critical shortage of the blood group, which is most needed by hospitals.

Beginning now through June 10, eligible type O donors who donate blood or platelets will receive a $5 Gift Card via email.

The American Red Cross says there is less than a two-day supply of blood available for emergency rooms. Officials say this 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% 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.

Thus, it 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.”

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Eligible donors with type O blood are encouraged to make a whole blood or Power Red donation, where available.

If you would like to make an appointment or want more information, click here.

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