Local blood bank in search of donors

HARLINGEN — United Blood Services is in need of universal blood donors.

Frank Esparza is the director of United Blood Services and has been there for 10 years.

He said they are always in need of blood donations.

The blood bank receives its donations in two ways — blood drives and walk-ins at the donation centers.

The blood bank needs about 150 to 175 units or pints of blood daily.

“We don’t make the units frequently,” Esparza said.

When the center fails to make its goal, the United Blood Services imports blood from its sister centers such as West Texas, El Paso and New Mexico.

The blood bank is frequently low on O negative and O positive blood and is always in need of more.

Esparza said the majority of people in the Valley have type O positive blood, creating a bigger need for it as well as O negative.

Type O negative blood is a universal donor with the ability to be used on any patient.

“We need all blood types, but O negative is in high demand,” Esparza said.

He said babies in prenatal care are given O negative blood, creating a higher demand.

According to Esparza, accidents, depending on the severity, can take up most of bank’s blood supply.

“A traumatic accident can go through the whole blood supply,” Esparza said.

The majority of blood collected is from blood drives using the United Blood Service’s mobile units.