Local blood drive January 13

The Philip area United Blood Services blood drive is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at the Bad River Senior Citizen's Center.

Out of every 100 people needing blood, more than 50 percent will use type O. "That is the reason we are trying to sign up more O-positive and O-negative donors for our upcoming drive," said Tami Ravellette, coordinator for the event.

Thirty-seven percent of the population has O-positive blood, making it the most common type. So many people with O-positive blood assume there are plenty of O-positive donors who will meet the demand. However, because it is the most common type, it is the type most used by patients needing transfusions. More O-positive donors are constantly needed. What's more, O-positive blood can be given to patients who have types A, B or AB-positive blood, but O-positive patients MUST have type-O blood.

Only six percent of the population has O-negative blood, yet nine out of 100 patients receive O-negative transfusions. That is because O-negative blood is the universal blood type, even more so than O-positive. It can be given to anyone in an extreme emergency situation when there is no time to cross-match the donor's blood with the patient's. Another special need for O-negative blood is in the treatment of babies. Neonatal care facilities require fresh units of O-negative each day to treat their tiny patients.

If someone has never donated blood, but has O-positive or O-negative blood, they are "O, so special" to patients. To schedule a donation appointment at the UBS blood drive in your area, call Ravellette at 859-2516 or 859-2969, UBS in Rapid City at 800-834-8525 or go online to www.unitedbloodservices.org.