U.P. Regional Blood Center experiencing critical shortage during Blood Donor Awareness Month

UPPER PENINSULA — The U.P. Regional Blood Center is experiencing a critical shortage of three blood types. January happens to be Blood Donor Awareness Month, so now is a great time to get out and donate.

The blood types critically needed are O negative, A negative, and B positive. Blood Collection Coordinator Rachel Heath says that there’s always a need for every type of blood, and that every donation helps.

“O negative blood is pretty rare, but that’s the universal blood donor, so that can go to anyone,” explained Heath. “That also goes to a lot of the NICU babies, which is really important. A negative is also kind of rare. B positive is common, but we do use a lot of that because it is common. But there’s always a need for blood. We supply 13 of the U.P. hospitals, so the shortage affects all 13 hospitals.”

Because the U.P. Regional Blood Center is the primary provider of blood to hospitals across the Upper Peninsula, it’s extremely important to donate. Taking just half an hour out of your day to stop by your local donation center or attending a blood drive can save the life of someone in need.

“There’s no substitute for blood,” said Heath. “The only to save someone’s life when they need blood is by donating blood so that we have that backup supply for transfusions when they’re needed. And it’s also just an easy way to give back to your community and do something good. And it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s just an easy way to brighten someone’s day and save a life.”

The U.P. Regional Blood Center has five donation sites across the Upper Peninsula. To find your local Blood Center, you can visit the U.P. Regional Blood Center website. For more information or to find blood drive locations, you can visit their Facebook page.