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Scottsdale-based company seeking donors to help replenish blood supply

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Looking to lend a helping hand?

Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, is searching for blood donors to help restock the shelves.

A big reason for the short supply is due to the winter storms that have hit the country.

“There’s a critical need for blood donors right now both here in Arizona and across the country due to historic weather conditions,” Sue Thew, public relations official for Vitalant told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

“Vitalant has had to close multiple donation centers and cancel blood drives across many states due to the historic bomb cyclone. We’ve lost about 1,000 blood donations. We’ve tried to help as much as we could here in Arizona but we’re unable to help any further without increased blood donations because our type O blood is already at very lean levels.”

On Saturday, the donor centers are open from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. Additional locations will be open on Sunday and Monday to try to make it convenient for people to donate, Thew added.

Vitalant currently has six donor centers across the Valley and hosts about a dozen blood drives a day, according to Thew.

With type O being the universal blood type, donors with the typing are desperately sought after. Especially in Arizona.

“Right now in Arizona we have an urgent need for type O blood, that’s also the blood type used in emergencies and traumas,” Thew said.

“We’re talking about O-negative as well as O-positive. … We are right now at about a one-day blood supply in Arizona for type O, so for us to be able to help further, we dramatically need additional type O donors to come in as well as donors of all blood types.”

To donate, participants must be at least 16 years old, with written permission from a guardian if under 18, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Potential donors should avoid donating if sick and wait until healthy before giving blood.

To make an appointment or learn more on donating blood visit Vitalant for more information.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this story.

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