You never saw it coming, the crash that nearly ended your life.
Rushed to the hospital and into trauma surgery, no one has your type of blood, so you’re given type O negative to sustain your life while the surgeon stitches up your wounds.
Thank goodness the hospital had that O negative on hand, or the outcome could have been fatal. Scary thought, especially since the hospital is generally low on the universal donor.
In San Angelo, hospitals receive their blood from United Blood Services (USB), and the supply is usually well below adequate.
“Twice we’ve been at adequate supply since I’ve been here,” explained Linda Grace, Donor Recruitment Representative for the United Blood Services, “a day and a half [worth’s of stock] is doing good.”
Recently, supplies have been as low as five units of blood, when hospitals assess that 65 would be sufficient.
This is problematic because of how few O negative donors are out there, “Only about 6% of the population is O negative,” said Grace, which drastically limits how many units of blood the USB can receive.
Grace stated that there are 60,000 potential blood donors in San Angelo, of which the UBS only sees roughly 5,000.
Given those numbers, there are approximately 300 individuals in San Angelo who donate O negative. UBS of San Angelo services the city and all surrounding counties, from Big Lake to Brownwood, meaning the impact of the low blood supply and the demand for it are felt far and wide.
If you are one of the missing 55,000 donors, you can call Linda Grace for more information at 325-223-7515, or visit the UBS website www.unitedbloodservices.org.