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Church van accident leaves state without O negative blood

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- The American Red Cross is issuing a call to action for people to donate blood, especially those with type O negative. A serious crash involving a tractor trailer and a church van in Transylvania County Wednesday night has depleted our supply of O negative blood in the Asheville area, and we are now utilizing blood supplies from areas across the region. WLOS-TV reports 15 people were taken to area hospitals, including both drivers and 13 passengers. Many of the patients were children.

While the American Red Cross is utilizing resources to send units of blood to Asheville from other parts of the state, this could further impact supplies region wide as donations have already been lagging during the holiday season.

O negative blood is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations like this one Wednesday night.

To schedule your lifesaving donation appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org. Enter your zip code for the blood drive locations nearest you.

The American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet the needs of patients.

Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent in North Carolina, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

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