The need for blood donations was so great in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando that Rhode Island’s Blood Center was called on for help. The need remains high, but not necessarily in Orlando.
Orlando hospitals put out the call for blood to save victims of the shooting, and the Rhode Island Blood Center – the area’s largest – sent about 20 units of type AB blood. But a spokeswoman for the Blood Center says that was blood already on the shelves – not collected in the hours after the shooting. That’s why keeping a steady supply of all blood types on hand is critical for responding to mass casualties.
The blood center says the greatest need is for type O negative blood. Only 7 percent of people can donate this type, but it can be used in any patient. And that’s the kind that’s most valuable in emergencies, when doctors need to transfuse patients right away.