The San Diego Blood Bank has issued an urgent call for blood donations from donors with type O blood.
Type O positive is the most common blood type, while O negative blood is the universal blood type and often used in emergency rooms, SDBB said.
“We’re experiencing a critical shortage of blood from O negative and O positive blood type donors. It’s the holiday season and this is what happens every year,” Claudine Van Gonka with the SDBB said.
As we come out of the holiday season SDBB said they typically see a decrease in donations as people get seasonal illnesses like the flu.
“We like to keep about a seven-day supply on the shelf to make sure that we can supply the hospitals and today we are about a half a day on both of those types,” Van Gonka said.
On Sunday, O negative blood was back up to a one-day supply, but O positive blood was still below a day's supply, Van Gonka told NBC 7. She also said a lot of first-time donors helped increase supplies this weekend.
SDBB has six donor centers throughout San Diego County as well as bloodmobiles.
To donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in generally good health.
“I started donating blood about the year 2000,” George Trew told NBC 7 while at the blood bank. “I know there’s a lot of people I’ve helped, and I am not doing it for myself or any special recognition, I just want to help people.
To find a donor center or mobile drive near you, visit their website.