U.P. Health in urgent need of all blood types


Akasha Khalsa

The UPHS Regional Blood Center is currently experiencing an urgent need for blood donors with O-, A- and B- types. These types are relatively rare, and because O- blood in particular is the universal donor type which can be used in medical procedures for individuals of all blood types, they are in
high demand. 

The need for certain blood types always fluctuates, Coordinator of Blood Collections Rachel Heath said. What is required depends on what occurs in hospitals across the region of the U.P. The blood center provides much needed blood resources to thirteen hospitals across the U.P. and is therefore the main hub where hospitals send daily blood orders
depending on their patients’ needs.

The O- blood, for example, is also used for NICU babies because of its property of being safe to all receivers, Heath said. It is often required by hospitals expecting births.

“[People with O-, A- and B- types] are kind of rare and special. We hope they will step up and donate,” Heath said. “We rely greatly on student donors.”

Student donors tend to be younger, and as a result they tend to have less health issues as well as taking less medications which can interfere with donating blood.

However, Heath stressed that the blood center is always accepting all types of blood donations and that walk-ins at the blood center, which is located adjacent to NMU’s campus, are always welcome.