ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Blood Bank of Alaska says it is facing a "critical shortage" of four different blood types in Alaska: O positive, O negative, A positive and B negative. It means there's less than a three-day supply of those types that can be sent to hospitals across the state.
Blood bank officials say it's likely that if more types enter the critical shortage status, they'll enter a "code red" scenario -- the most serious type of shortage the blood bank can face.
The shortage situation has changed rapidly in the last 24 hours. Tuesday evening, there were only two blood types -- O positive and O negative -- that had reached a critical shortage. Also in that time period, the Blood Bank of Alaska has expanded its shortage alert from the Anchorage area to the entire state.
The Blood Bank says donations typically become scarce during the summer months: people tend to focus on outdoor activities and vacationing as opposed to donating blood. But the Blood Bank says the shortage this year is compounded by the fact that the American Red Cross is facing a nationwide shortage in the lower-48 states -- making it more difficult to ask for blood from Outside.