There’s a Blood Shortage at Boston Children’s Hospital

Surgeries have been postponed due to the shortage.

Boston Children’s Hospital released a statement Friday saying that type O negative blood is in short supply:

“Boston Children’s Hospital is experiencing a shortage of O negative blood and is in the process of replenishing its supply. The hospital has taken precautionary measures to ensure the care and safety of our patients,” the statement said.

The Red Cross has also acknowledged a shortage on a national level, due to the horrendous winter weather that’s cancelled blood drives.

CBS Boston reported that the blood shortage is not only impacting patients across the country, but it is having a major effect on scheduled surgeries here in Boston.

Valerie Rogers, a Billerica mom, was getting her daughter Jacqueline ready to go to Boston Children’s Hospital on Friday morning when she received a call that the 8-year-old’s open heart surgery had to be postponed due to a shortage of type O negative blood. The report reads:

Jacqueline, a bubbly and brave 3rd grader who was born with a congenital heart disorder, had already been nervous and scared about her operation. Now she had a different fear.

“I was scared because I thought they were not going to do it ever,” she said.

Boston Children’s Hospital says that it’s not safe to perform an operation without enough of the right type blood. Type O negative blood is seen as the “super hero of blood” because it can be given to anyone, according to the Red Cross. But, people with type O negative blood only make up about nine percent of the world’s population, making it the fourth rarest blood type.

Rogers’ friends in Billerica immediately donated blood and the surgery has been rescheduled for Wednesday, but the blood shortage is cause for concern for many people awaiting surgeries in our area.

Here’s where to donate blood:

Boston Children’s Hospital

Red Cross

Greater Boston Blood Donation Centers