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Critical need for type O blood in Wisconsin

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- There's an ongoing blood shortage in Wisconsin for all types, but the shelves are especially low for one of the most critical types: O positive and O negative blood.

Emily Jolin, administrative director at the Blood Center of North Central Wisconsin said in emergency situations where time is short, like traumas or accidents that involve bleeding, type O blood is what's given.

She said type O is given because it's universal, or the safest blood to give to those in need before a person's blood type can be determined in instances where time is critical to saving someone's life.

O negative is usually the type that's given out first.

"Only seven percent of the population is O negative, so it's used disproportionately," Jolin said. "Type O positive as well because they do give O positive in emergent situations."

With only 7% of the population having type O negative blood, it makes it a bit harder to find those who can give.

Jolin added that 38% of the population is O positive so it's primarily used over other types when general blood is needed.

Also, those who are O negative can only receive O negative blood.

If you think or know that you're an O blood type, you can call the Blood Center of Northcentral Wisconsin at (715) 842-0761.

You can also reach out to the American Red Cross in Wausau at (715) 301-7719.

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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