ADA — Oklahoma Blood Institute is encouraging people of all blood types to donate this week, but is asking all eligible Type O donors, especially O Negative donors, to donate now.

"Having reserves of O Negative and O Positive blood is critical for trauma patients," said Ronald O. Gilcher, M.D., president and medical director of OBI. "When accidents happen, as they do at holiday times, our inventory shrinks faster than we can replenish it. We are trying to significantly increase supplies now so that we will have enough Type O blood to see us through the holidays.

• Type O blood is the most common blood type in the United States which adds to its disproportionate frequency of use.

• Type O negative blood is called the universal blood type because it can be transfused into anyone regardless of their blood type.

•In medical emergency situations, seconds count and Type O Negative blood is usually the first blood given to a patient until their blood can be typed.

OBI is asking all Type O blood donors to take an hour during the holiday season to come the nearest OBI blood center or community blood drive and give the gift of life. Donors may schedule an appointment to donate by phoning 877-OBI-GIVE or going online at www.obi.org. OBI is a non-profit regional blood center providing blood to 111 hospitals in Oklahoma and North Texas.

Local residents can donate blood at East Central Oklahoma Blood Institute, 900 N. Mississippi, Ada;or for more information, phone (580) 436-0384 or 800-858-8296

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