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U.P. Regional Blood Center experiencing shortage of certain blood types

Blood center encourages those who are eligible to donate
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Kevin Crupi tries to donate blood every eight to ten weeks. On Tuesday morning, he went to the Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center to help save lives.

“It makes me feel incredibly helpful,” said Crupi. “This is my motivation for doing it. I just want to make sure that people who need blood will have access to that.”

One of the reasons why he donated is because of a blood shortage happening nationwide.

While the blood center is collecting close to normal amounts each month, the Manager of Donor Services and Transfusion Services, Dana Langsford, says it is not getting enough of certain blood types.

“We’re experiencing a critical need for all negative blood types,” Langsford stated. “O-negative, A-egative, B-negative, and O-postive and B-pos{itive} as well.”

Including Marquette, the blood center serves 13 U.P. hospitals, with collections getting sent to a few of them every day.

“In an emergency situation, O-negative blood type can usually be given safely to somebody,” said Langsford. “We also use O-negative for our babies who happen to be in the intensive care unit.”

Langsford says less than 5% of the country’s eligible population actually donates blood. There are some restrictions.

“If you’ve been out of the country, that could defer you depending on where you’ve been,” he explained. “If you’ve had any type of medical procedures, that may or may not defer you depending on what it is.

Crupi says those who have given blood before should do it again.

“I want to thank people who do donate and encourage them to come as frequently as possible,” he said.

Langsford says people ages 16 and older can come here to roll up their sleeves and give blood either by walk-in or appointment. The U.P. Regional Blood Center hopes to gain more negative donations in the coming weeks.

The blood center also conducts blood drives three to four times a week throughout the region. To see any lists of drives in your area, visit the blood center’s Facebook page or call 906-225-4610.

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