The area's supply of type O blood has dropped to a critically low level, according to the Puget Sound Blood Center. Because of the heat wave, the blood center has had to cancel or cut short about a dozen blood drives in venues without air conditioning.

Share story

The area’s supply of type O blood has dropped to a critically low level as a result of the heat, according to the Puget Sound Blood Center.

Since Tuesday, the center has had only a two-day supply of type O blood, as opposed to the four-day inventory usually kept on hand, said Michael Young, the center’s director of communications.

A four-day supply is usually considered the amount needed in the event of a large accident. Type O is key, because it can be given to any blood type in an emergency.

Because of the heat wave, the blood center has had to cancel or cut short about a dozen blood drives in venues without air conditioning. The blood center needs more than 900 donations daily to maintain its supplies, but donations have been dropping to 600 or 700 each day since temperatures started climbing above 80 degrees.

The blood center is the largest transfusion service in the region, supporting 185 hospitals across the Northwest.

To donate, phone 800-398-7888 or go to www.psbc.org.

Jean Guerrero: 206-464-2311 or jguerrero@seattletimes.com