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Holiday weekend leaves blood shortage critical, donors needed

Heading into the Fourth of July holiday, supplies of O-negative blood are in a critical shortage of less than a day’s supply.

As a result, the United Blood Services are asking for the Valley’s help to prevent blood shortages by donating to the Saving Arizona blood drive Sunday.

Audrey Jennings, United Blood Services Regional Executive Director, said the Independence Day holiday week is the most difficult time of the summer to ensure hospital patients across the state receive the blood transfusions they need.

According to a press release, there were just 75 units of O-negative on the shelf Friday morning to replenish blood supplies at 63 Arizona hospitals. O-negative blood is the universal blood type used in emergency and trauma situations to save lives.

United Blood Services projects about 600 people will give blood in the next four days, while Arizona patients are expected to require approximately 2,000 life-saving blood transfusions.

“While donor vacations reduce the number of people giving blood, heavy traffic on the roads and highways increases the potential for accidents and the need for blood,” said Jennings.

Sunday’s blood drive will begin at 7 a.m. at the Tempe
Center for the Arts and last until 1 p.m.

The first 500 donors will receive a voucher for two Arizona Diamondbacks tickets along with a complimentary voucher to Whataburger.

A donor will be drawn as one of the 10 finalists for a 2015 VW Golf donated by Valley Volkswagen dealers. Appointments are recommended to avoid the wait by calling 1-877-UBS-HERO (1-877-827-4376) toll free or visit www.AZHero.com/saveAZ