Alaska Blood Bank faces critical need for O-positive, O-negative blood

The Blood Bank of Alaska said they are seeing fewer donors at a time when they are in critical need of O Positive and O Negative blood.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:35 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For the past 10 years, Hope Aldrighette has visited a blood bank every few months.

“I’ve donated four gallons at this point, that’s kind of crazy,” Aldrighette said.

During each visit when she donates blood, blood banks are able to collect enough blood to help up to three Alaskans who are in need of a blood donation. At the moment, Aldrighette’s blood is even more needed as O-negative blood donor.

According to Blood Bank of Alaska CEO Bob Scanlon, they are in need of O-negative and O-positive blood donations.

“The blood supply right now is tighter than what we would like to see,” Scanlon said.

Scanlon said they are short between eight and 10% at the moment. Scanlon said that it is typical this time of year to see fewer donors due to people getting ready for the winter. However, the slump they see right now is followed by another slump — the holiday season — which Scanlon said they also tend to see fewer donors.

“We have the double whammy of not only having the shortage of donors coming in, but we also have a very, very heavy usage from virtually every hospitable in the state,” Scanlon said. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand as far as health care is concerned, and much of that health care requires blood and blood usage.”

Scanlon is asking that anyone able to donate to blood please consider doing so. Scanlon said that the process takes around an hour, and appointments can be scheduled, but he said walk-ins are also welcomed.