1 minute readBlood

Be a #MissingType Blood Donor for Life to Keep the As, Bs and Os From Disappearing

This June, we launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage new blood donors, as well as donors who have not given in years, to donate blood and help meet the critical need for lifesaving blood products for patients.

Did you know every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, but for the past four years, new Red Cross donors declined by about 80,000 each year?

The blood donor base is shrinking. More blood donors are needed now to fill the gaps.

Are you the #MissingType?

As part of the campaign, the letters A, B, and O – letters used to identify blood types –disappeared across the country and around the world from corporate logos, iconic brands, social media and frequently visited websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays.

Many may not realize just how important the letters A, B and O can be until they’re gone. For a hospital patient who needs type A, B or O blood, those letters mean life.

A collage of #MissingType campaign participants.

Last month, about 40 national partners and more than a thousand local partners across the country joined the Red Cross in this effort.

Lead partners who joined the campaign to help raise awareness for the need for new blood donors included: Adobe, Anheuser-Busch, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Domino’s, Dropbox, Google, IBM, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Mastercard, Nationwide, Neiman Marcus, the New York Yankees, Oreo, PayPal, Salesforce, State Farm®, Sunoco and U.S. Bank.

Photo collage of partner participation during the #MissingType campaign.

Each day, blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. For those who have never donated before, or who haven’t rolled up a sleeve in a few years, our message is clear: You are the missing type. And patients need you.

The need for blood continues

Blood donations often drop around Independence Day due to summer vacations and fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives, and this year is no exception. We urge those who have never donated blood or platelets, as well as current donors, to make a donation appointment now and help sustain a sufficient blood supply this summer. Those who come to give blood or platelets from July 2 – July 7 will receive a special edition Red Cross t-shirt as a special thank you, while supplies last.

A man and a woman wearing Missing Types blood donation t-shirts.

Don’t wait until blood types go missing from the hospital shelves. Make an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In most states, individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

join the conversation.

We encourage you to comment on this blog. All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. The comments are moderated, so you may have to be a tiny bit patient in waiting to see them. We will review and post them as promptly as possible during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 5:00). Please read our full comment policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I am a Universal Donor blood type O-, and used to donate regularly. That stopped when the Red Cross ruled that gay men cannot donate. That may have been a reasonable argument way back then, but now that blood is tested for HIV antibodies anyway, it no longer makes sense. When will this restriction be lifted?

  2. Hi Patrick, It is important to remember that the FDA determines blood donation eligibility in the U.S. The Red Cross, like all blood centers, must follow the eligibility requirements of the FDA. This includes the FDA’s revised guidance regarding the blood donation policy for men who have had sex with men (MSM). The Red Cross will continue to work with the FDA and our blood industry partners to gather additional scientific data to assist the FDA in determining whether further changes to the MSM policy are warranted in the future. Feel free to learn more about this FDA policy and LGBTQ donors at redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/lgbtq-donors.