MILWAUKEE -- BloodCenter of Wisconsin has identified an urgent need for O negative blood donations. Officials are asking the public to step up and help replenish the supply to a healthy level.
Due to decreased donations over the recent holiday, and because of the inclement weather, the need for O negative blood is immediate. O negative blood is the type that can be given to anyone, which is why it's so important to have enough for emergencies.
Jason Pansier owes his life to blood donors.
"I was pinned underneath it, under a 40,000-pound tractor," said Jason Pansier, blood recipient.
A farming accident last July left him trapped beneath his equipment for two hours.
"The blood was just pouring down my leg like you were pouring hot water on yourself but it was actually blood," said Pansier.
Rescuers rushed Pansier to the hospital via Flight for Life. They had to pump more than 300-units of blood into him to keep him alive.
"They had to use all O negative because that's the universal, so that's what saved me," said Pansier.
O negative can be given to anybody, so it's often used in an emergency when responders don't yet know the victim's blood type. But right now, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin's supply of it has drifted down to a critical level. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Senior Medical Director, Dr. Jerry Gottschall, says the center is down to about a half-day's supply of O negative. A normal amount would be two to four days worth.
"We probably need over 100 donors a day over a couple of weeks, certainly over a week to begin to build that back up," said Dr. Gottschall.
The BloodCenter of Wisconsin serves 55 hospitals in the state. We're told the holiday season and wintry weather may have contributed to a drop in donations. That's why it's asking donors to step up now, so people like Pansier will have the blood they need when they need it.
"A trauma can happen at any time," said Dr. Gottschall.
Even if you're not O negative, if you want to help out, the center is always looking for people of all blood types to donate.
Donors as asked to please call 1-877-BE-A-HERO (1-877-232-4376) or visit bcw.edu/appt to make an appointment at a community blood drive or donor center.