United Blood Services announced an emergency appeal for type O-negative blood donors. Last weeks’ winter storms in MT and WY severely impacted blood donations in our fixed sites and our mobiles, with two centers having to close for two days. In addition, recent traumas have caused increased usage; demand for type O-negative blood has outpaced the supply significantly.

United Blood Services in Casper is open Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday 6:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Donors may call 237-2328 to make an appointment, or you may visit www.UnitedBloodServices.org, to complete the self-interview, on the day of donation, and then bring your printout to the center or mobile locations. Walk-ins are always welcome – appointments are encouraged. Our address is 1416 East A Street, Suite 102.

Only six percent of the population has O-negative blood, yet at hospital trauma centers, sometimes as much as 15 percent of the blood transfused is O-negative. That’s because O-negative blood is the universal blood type.

“It can be given to anyone in an extreme emergency situation when there is no time to cross-match the donor’s blood with the patient’s,” explained Lisa Moellenkamp, Donor Recruitment Manager, United Blood Services, this area’s non-profit community blood service provider. “When you do the math, our community needs people who are O-negative to give blood at least twice as often as everyone else!”

Another special need for O-negative blood is in the treatment of babies. Neonatal care facilities require fresh units of O-negative blood each day to treat their tiny patients.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years’ old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 or 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

As of 9 AM yesterday morning, United Blood Services – Rocky Mountain had outstanding hospitals orders and commitments for 153 type O-negative donations waiting to be filled.