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Blood supplies low statewide, donors needed

File image: blood donation

One of the nation’s largest blood donation networks says blood supplies have been depleted by nearly 50% since the start of the summer.

In a press release, the nonprofit Vitalant says that’s created an emergency shortage in Arizona and across the country. The organization provides blood services to 62 hospitals in Arizona and about 900 nationwide.

Vitalant says the emergency shortage is acute for type O, which is the most frequently transfused blood type. O-positive blood is also in short supply.

The Food and Drug Administration recently changed eligibility requirements for giving blood; previously, those who had traveled to France, Ireland or the United Kingdom were banned for life from donating blood due to the risk of a degenerative brain disease commonly known as mad cow disease. The FDA says those people may now donate.

Information on donating blood is at www.vitalant.org.