Blood shortages could be a thing of the past

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

A new study shows that type A and B blood can be transformed into type O.

The discovery is years away from use, but if found safe, blood supply would expand and blood drives would be changed forever.

Linda McKinney needed blood after complications from back surgery. Years later she developed cancer. Since then she’s never been able to give what she once needed so badly. That’s why Linda is helping with this blood drive.

“Hopefully with this new technology, people will be able to get blood when they need it,” McKinney said.

People who need blood can only use types that match theirs. However, type O blood can be used by anyone.

“O is the most common. We use it the most which is why we have a tremendous need for O,” said Karen Curtis, with the Red Cross.

Curtis said this discovery is exciting as the need for blood is critical across the United States. She said if A and B blood types are transformed to type O, there would be no more emergency calls for blood or blood drives.

“That would make our community ready for anything,” Curtis said.

“I’m anxious to see that actually happen,” McKinney expressed.

Not only does McKinney have first-hand experience, but her friend’s son is always in need of blood because of Leukemia.

“His name is Joey. For people like Joey it may mean the difference between life and death,” McKinney said.

People like Joey aren’t the only ones that could use O. You too could benefit with this new technology.

“Whenever there’s an emergency or trauma that’s what they have to use if they won’t know people’s blood type,” Curtis explained.

McKinney’s life depended on the availability of blood. She actually calls donors her heroes.

Curtis said by donating blood you could save three lives. She also said it’s crucial you try to give blood because out of the 60 percent of people able to give blood only five percent donate.

Visit the Nashville Red Cross website by clicking hereto see the current blood supply, and to learn more on how you can donate blood right here in South Central Kentucky visit www.sckyredcross.org.


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