Donors Needed This Summer to Avoid Shortages June 13, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Blood Center is seeking to avoid a summer shortage of blood, especially Type O Negative. Summer brings an annual decline in blood donations nationally and there are indications shortages are being seen sooner and more severely across the U.S. Donors are encouraged to make appointments at blood drives or donor centers.

O Negative is the universal blood donor, meaning anyone can receive that blood type. It is the blood type preferred in emergency situations. At one point this week, there was less than an eight-hour supply of this blood ready to be sent to hospitals served by the blood center.

“If we are unable to build up the blood supply before the Fourth of July, we will almost certainly be facing a serious blood shortage this summer,” said Jim Tinker, Kentucky Blood Center spokesperson.

Blood Shortage Being Seen Around the Nation

Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina are among the states already announcing blood shortages.

“It’s scary,” Tinker said. “The shortages have already arrived. If we Kentuckians don’t provide for ourselves, we may not be able to obtain blood from elsewhere.”

Charity Challenge Encourages Donations


June is an especially good time to be a blood donor if the donor is interested in supporting a favorite charity. This June, S&S Tire is giving away $10,000 to motivate charities to recruit blood donors.

Sixty-three charitable non-profit organizations have signed up to participate in the Blood Donor Charity Challenge. The charity with the most total points will earn $6,500, second place will receive $2,500 and third place will win $1,000. Donors support their charity by declaring their support when they arrive to donate.

Details and the list of charities are available at

Those wanting to donate blood can call 1-800-775-2522 or visit for blood drive and donor center details. The Kentucky Blood Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring a safe, adequate blood supply for 67 Kentucky hospitals and clinics thanks to generous blood donors in more than 60 counties.