N_tice _nything missing? A few missing letters may not seem like a big deal, but for a hospital patient who needs type A, B or O blood, these letters mean life.
As part of an international movement, the American Red Cross is launching the Missing Types campaign to raise awareness of the need for new blood donors – and those who haven’t given in a while – to donate and help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients in need. You may notice A’s, B’s and O’s – representing the main blood groups – missing from signage, websites, social media and other public-facing platforms to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays.
The sad fact is that blood shortages are not uncommon in the U.S. and other parts of the world. But they can be prevented when more people roll up a sleeve to give.
When blood types go missing
“Can you imagine your child or loved one actually needing lifesaving blood and to be told there may be no blood at the blood bank? That happened to us two times with blood and platelets,” said Susie Dotson, whose daughter Lily needed more than a dozen blood and platelet transfusions during treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Hearing that the hospital didn’t have the blood or platelets Lily needed – and that she would have to wait for transfusions – was incredibly frustrating and eye-opening for the Dotson family.
“People automatically think blood is there. They don’t realize we’re relying on their blood donation,” said Susie. “Lily needed blood products just as much as the chemo or the treatment.”
Today, Lily has been cancer-free for four years and will be celebrating her 12th birthday this summer.
Join the movement
- Give blood – Schedule your appointment at redcrossblood.org/MissingTypes or with the Blood Donor App.
- Recruit new donors – Encourage a friend or family member to roll up a sleeve too.
- Spread the word –
- Take a photo with one of these selfie signs and post it to your social media along with the message “I am the #MissingType.”
- Write out your name with the A’s, B’s and O’s missing on the “blank” selfie sign, and take a photo with it. (Underscores are recommended. Example: _meric_n Red Cr_ss)
- Visit RedCrossBlood.org to a Missing Types message on your social media
What to expect on giving day
Giving blood is simple. Commit about an hour of your day to help save a life.
- Registration – Sign in, show your ID and read the required information.
- Health check – Answer questions and receive a mini-physical.
- Donation – Giving a pint of blood takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Refreshments – Enjoy some snacks and relax before resuming your day.