We all know that donating blood can save a life. But, are you the right blood type to save a baby's life?
Houchin Blood Bank is always looking for O- blood because they are universal donors and in high demand.
But, there's one critical requirement to donate to a newborn - blood must be CMV negative as well.
CMV stands for Cytomegalovirus, and it's something most people have had.
Houchin is running low on O-, CMV- blood. It's a fairly rare blood type that's used for newborns.
"Cytomegalovirus, it's a flu-like virus that at least half of the population have had at some point in their life. Although it's usually they don't even know they have been infected." said nurse Amanda Mason.
But, when it comes to babies they need the purest of the pure for their delicate immune systems. Adults immune systems are stronger which does not pose as much of a threat.
"The baby blood is specifically designed for O- because they're too young in their developments so they have not been typed yet. They are universal recipients, and O- is the universal blood. They cannot take a full unit of blood so we break a full unit down to aliquots." said Greg Gallion, CEO of Houchin.
An aliquot is like a smaller serving for a smaller patient. Blood that gets donated has a shelf life, and blood banks are always looking to beef up supplies.
But, right now they are running 30% low on their stock of O- blood. That makes the supply of O-, CMV- even more strained.
If you would like to donate blood, call Houchin Blood Bank at 323-4222.