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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 07/ 8/2010

D.C. area faces critical shortage of blood

By Washington Post editors

The Washington area is suffering a critical shortage of a crucial blood type as the D.C. Council plays catch-up with Maryland and Virginia to allow 16-year-olds to donate blood with a parent's consent, the Washington Examiner reports.

The American Red Cross said this week that the supply for the universal donor blood type 0 negative has reached critically low levels in the Washington area. Type O negative is considered the universal blood type, as it can be used by people in any blood group.

A bill proposed by D.C. Council member Harry Thomas is designed to help alleviate the shortage.

Since February, the D.C. City Council has been examining the possibility of allowing the D.C. Health Department to pass regulations that would change the minimum blood donation age from 17 to 16. Current regulations allow 17-year-olds to donate blood without a parent's consent; the change would allow 16-year-olds to donate with a parent's consent. Virginia, Maryland and 35 other states already allow 16-year-olds to donate.

If you are interested in donating you can reach the American Red Cross at 800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543).

By Washington Post editors  | July 8, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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