The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has issued a call for donations to all type O blood donors to help replenish its current stock, which decreased dramatically over the summer due to an uptick in traumas and traffic accidents as more people spent time on the road.

Center officials are seeking donations ahead of Labor Day weekend, when they expect further inventory depletion due to heightened travel and, thus, an increase in traffic accidents.

“The Os are the most commonly used types of blood in traumas, and – unfortunately –  recently in San Antonio and South Texas we have had a lot of trauma,” said Monica Reyes, public relations manager with BioBridge Global, a nonprofit that oversees and supports the local Blood and Tissue Center. “Donations are not keeping up with patient needs, and we have to keep our shelves as full as possible.”

While O-negative is known as the universal blood type and can be transfused to almost anyone, only 7 percent of the population has O-negative blood. In addition to type O blood, the Blood and Tissue Center is seeking platelet donations to help bone marrow transplant, cancer, and leukemia patients.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center serves dozens of hospitals and clinics throughout South Texas, and has six locations in San Antonio and New Braunfels where donors can either walk in or schedule an appointment in advance.

“We really just urge people to come out and make a donation,” Reyes said. “Any blood donor is always a very valuable donor for patients in our communities.”

All donors must present identification and are encouraged to eat a good meal and hydrate ahead of time. Anyone who is 17 and older, weighs at least 110 pounds, and is in good general health may donate blood. With parental consent, 16-year olds weighing at least 120 pounds may also donate.

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.