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United Blood Services has announced an urgent appeal for O-positive and O-negative blood.

The Billings site at 1444 Grand Ave. will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Donors may call 248-9168 or visit www.UnitedBloodServices.org to make a convenient appointment to donate.

“We typically see an increase in the need for blood during the summer. That, coupled with our recent cutover to a new computer system, when we were very limited by the amount of blood we could collect, has caused us to have a very low supply of type O blood”, said Lesli Asay, regional donor recruitment director of United Blood Services, this area’s nonprofit community blood provider.

O-Positive is the most common blood type so it is needed the most often by patients. O-negative is the universal blood type, meaning it can be used by patients of all other blood types and is most often used in emergency situations and for premature babies.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

Asay said there is a particular need for donations of red blood cells and platelets at this time.

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