Red Cross launches Missing Types campaign to find missing A, B and O blood types

Red Cross launches Missing Types campaign to find missing A, B and O blood types
Source: American Red Cross

Provided by American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has launched its Missing Types Campaign to illustrate the need for new blood donors to ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients.

As part of the campaign, the letters A, B, and O – used to identify blood types – are disappearing across the country and around the world from well-recognized logos, signs and websites beginning June 11. Many rarely think about blood until someone we love needs it and it's missing from hospital shelves. The disappearance of these letters accentuates their importance in the lives of patients who need blood transfusions.

In fact, the blood donor base is shrinking. Over the past four years, new Red Cross blood donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. This is not just a Red Cross trend, but a challenge that all blood collection organizations face across the country and around the world.

Survey shows prevailing misconceptions about blood needs - a recent survey, conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, revealed a troubling disconnect between the public's perception of blood donations and the realities of patient transfusion needs.

  • Three-quarters (74 percent) of the public underestimate how frequently blood transfusions occur.* Most people perceive blood is needed in the U.S. every 15 minutes or even every hour or two hours when in fact, every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood.
  • Nearly half of the public (45 percent) know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion.* Yet only three percent of the U.S. population donates each year.
  • More than one-third (35 percent) of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it.* Blood shortages are not uncommon in the United States and can only be prevented when more people roll up a sleeve to give.
  • More than half (53 percent) of the public believe they need to know their blood type to donate.* Good news – Potential blood donors do not need to know their blood type before giving blood. After individuals give blood, the Red Cross provides each donor their blood type. Join the #MissingType movement and find out your blood type this summer.

Don't wait until the letters A, B and O go missing from hospital shelves. Join the #MissingType movement today—make an appointment to give blood by visiting redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.