United Blood Services has issued a plea for donors to step forward, saying Arizona's supply of blood type O-negative has slipped to extremely low levels. As of Monday, the nonprofit says just 16 units of O-negative blood remained to fill the needs of 58 hospitals. That leaves the state more than 90% below necessary levels. United Blood Services points to increased demand. It says about 13% of all red cell transfusions have required O-negative while only 6% of the population has this rare blood type. O-negative is the blood type that trauma patients, pregnant women and babies generally receive when lifesaving transfusions are required.
The nonprofit says it has exhausted out-of-state resources to meet patient needs in Arizona. Donation centers are set up in Phoenix and the surrounding area.