Blood donations dropping along with temperatures

March 2, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS The call is going out for blood donors in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Memorial Blood Centers said its supply of O-negative blood is dangerously low across its 11 donor sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Spokesman Larry Silber tells Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1N60fSF ) the organization has been able to keep up with the demand for O-negative blood so far, but more donors are urgently needed. A combination of cold weather, vacations and the flu season has led to the decrease in donations.

The shortage is particularly critical because O-negative is a universal blood type that can be used in emergencies.

But O-negative donors are also rare. According to the American Red Cross, only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood.

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Associated Press