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      Type O negative blood supply hits critically low level

      Red Cross officials say O negative blood supply levels hit low levels.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) --American Red Cross officials are asking everyone with O negative blood types to make and keep their appointments.

      The supply of type O negative blood at the American Red Cross has dropped to critically low levels recently. Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O negative donors are needed now to help prevent the type O negative blood supply from declining further.

      "The American Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to help recruit type O negative blood donations to help meet the needs of patients in our community," says Jamie Muldrow, spokesperson for the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region.

      While all blood types are needed during the summer months, the Red Cross urges those eligible donors with O negative blood type to make and keep appointments in the upcoming days to help restore the blood supply.

      "All blood types are important but O negative blood especially is critical because it is the universal blood type," says Muldrow "which means that in an emergency situation when there isnt time to cross match someone's blood type, they can receive O negative blood."

      A shortage of type O negative blood often occurs during the summer months when fewer donors are giving because of summer vacations and schools approaching summer break are hosting fewer drives.

      The American Red Cross is hosting a "Famously Hot" blood drive Friday, June 24, 2010 from 7 a.m to 3 p.m at the Columbia Convention Center.

      Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit the Red Cross website to make an appointment.