STANFORD (CBS SF) – Stanford Blood Center on Monday asked for urgent Type O negative blood donations because of a less than two-day supply remaining for local hospitals.

In the past two weeks, partner hospitals used about 900 pints of blood to support three transplant patients, multiple cardiovascular patients, pediatric patients with bleeding disorders and others, the blood bank said.

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Blood banks across the country are experiencing shortages because of the winter flu and cold season, but Stanford Blood Center said it has been especially impacted by high usage at Bay Area hospitals.

Type O negative blood is considered the “universal donor” since it can be used by patients with any blood type. The blood type is relatively rare, and the blood bank is also accepting all other donors.

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“Even if you do not have O- blood or don’t know your blood type, we need your support right now,” blood bank spokeswoman Vanessa Merina said in a news release. “All blood types are needed to support local patients on an ongoing basis.”

Donors can schedule a same-day appointment by calling (888) 723-2831 or visiting www.stanfordbloodcenter.org.

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