Inova Blood Donor Services today reported that it has less than a two-day supply of type O blood.
The critically low inventory is attributed to a combination of low summer collections and high usage in recent weeks.
Residents who are able to donate are asked to call 866-256-6372 or go to inovablood.org to schedule an appointment.
Also, Inova in late June expanded the number of eligible donors by lifting long-standing prohibitions on taking blood from individuals who spent time in the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland at a time when they could have been exposed to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow disease. The policy change was based on updated guidance from the Food and Drug Administration, which found that the risk of transmission by blood components remains only theoretical.
According to Terri Craddock, the senior director of Inova Blood Donor Services, the policy had prevented collections from more than 12,000 willing donors in the past few years, and could expand the pool of eligible donors in the region by 65,000.
Permanent deferrals remain in place for individuals suspected of having the disease.