Donations in recent weeks have been hundreds short of hospital need, a stark reminder of the fragility of our nation’s blood supply.

Lower donor turnout, holidays, and school breaks have resulted in a shortage of O negative red cells and platelets, but all types are needed.

MINNESOTA – Today, Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) announced a blood emergency following a period of low donor turnout due to holidays and school breaks. There is currently a 2-3-day supply of type O negative, as well as a critical shortage of platelets, but all donation types are needed.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and represents only 6% of the US population. It is most often used in trauma situations, allowing for immediate transfusions during emergencies. The current low supply of O negative blood is critical and donations from these donors are especially needed.

School breaks and weather complications have contributed to the recent drop in donations. Additionally, we are still recovering from a nearly 50% decrease of youth and first-time blood donors since 2019, and working to rebuild donations from this population. At one time, youth donations represented 25% of our blood supply, but now only contribute 10% of the country’s donations.

“We are asking our community to respond during this blood emergency so that we are able to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals we serve,” said Kathy Geist, Vice President at Memorial Blood Centers. “We are calling on eligible donors to make an immediate blood or platelet donation, and it is our hope that we’ll see first time and youth donors answer our call for help.”

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit or call 1.888.448.3253.

To make an appointment, donors can call 1.888.448.3253 or visit

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About Memorial Blood Centers
Founded in 1948, Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) celebrates over 75 Years of Lifesaving Research, Innovation and Impact. MBC relies on the local community to donate blood to help ensure a safe and stable blood supply is available to area hospitals and other partners. With operations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, MBC is a Division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises), serving communities across the country. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram, and LinkedIn.