Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


San Diego blood bank reaches 'critical' need for type O blood

A San Diegan donates blood at the San Diego Blood Bank's main office, Dec. 2019.
Andi Dukleth
A San Diegan donates blood at the San Diego Blood Bank's main office, Dec. 2019.

The San Diego Blood Bank put out a call today for donors with type O negative and O positive blood, as the bank has reached "critically low" levels of both.

Type O negative is the universal blood type, meaning anyone can receive that type of blood when needed. Type O positive is the most common blood type, which is why hospital demand is always high. Type O blood is the first used in emergencies when a patient's blood type is unknown, and for massive traumas when a large volume of blood is needed quickly.

"All types are needed, but our supply of O negative and O positive blood types is low, currently at less than a one-day supply" said Claudine Van Gonka, spokeswoman for the blood bank. "It is critical that we bring the blood supply up to stable levels for hospital patients in need."


To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. Eligible donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at or by calling 619-400-8251.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.