Borderland blood shortage

El Paso News
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An important blood type is running low here in the Borderland, and it’s the same type that can be life-saving.

Staff at Vitalent, formerly known as United Blood Services, told KTSM this time of year along with July is usually when blood supply runs short especially O negative and O positive.

“When you’re following Christmas and everyone has been busy, doing everything they need. Getting back into their routine, and some people have fallen ill since it’s flu season. So even our normal donors who come out and donate may be sick and can’t donate,” the Marketing and Communications manager at Vitalent Carla Alexander shared.

O Negative is actually a universal blood type which means anyone can receive that type, and hospitals rely on O negative for emergency types of situations. It also could mean hospitals can potentially cancel on elective surgeries which can further delay schedules.

“We’re really cognizant of not asking for it unless we really need it so when we come out and tell you we need all blood types, but we’re really asking our O types, O positive and negative, as quickly as possible. It would certainly be a help to the community,” Alexander explained.

Meanwhile, some people like Jamez Yanez donates as much as he can.

“I’ve been doing it for a long time,” Yanez shared, “My dad had cancer and I do it for other people who have cancer.”

Vitalent encourages any and everyone to donate blood as quickly as possible no matter the blood type and as long as you’re healthy. The process takes about an hour. The center is also hosting a blood drive at Barnett Harley Davidson starting this Friday until Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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