The Need for Blood

Arizona is running out of blood. That’s the word from United Blood Services as supplies are dwindling down to critical levels.

From KTAR News Radio:

Things are drying up at blood banks across Arizona.

Sue Thew with United Blood Services estimated the state only had two days’ worth of blood as of Wednesday.

According to a story in the Arizona Republic, the Zika virus is playing a role in our state’s blood shortage. But not in the way that you might think.

The rapidly spreading Zika virus outbreak has prompted United Blood Services officials to request all eligible blood donors to get out to donate — and fast.

Donors who have traveled recently to areas hit by the virus can’t donate, limiting supply. At the same time, officials say patient transfusion rates have surged 13 percent above normal levels.

The article goes on to list key factors that have led to the critical drop in Arizona’s blood supply.

  • Travel deferral  (people who travel to zika impacted areas cannot donate blood for 28 days after they return)
  • Increase in transfusion rates
  • Summer vacations
  • Holiday weekends

Fox 10 News quoted Sue Thew, of United Blood Services, as saying all blood types are needed. “This is across the board with all blood types, in fact, for both O-negative as well as B-negative,” she said. “We have 60 hospital orders that we’re working to fill. They’ve unfilled hospital orders at this point because we don’t have the blood to fill it.”

Those who are willing and able to donate can do so by scheduling an appointment at

Working together to make sure the people of our state have the information and the resources they need to stay healthy plays a big part in our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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