‘Missing Type’ campaign emphasizes critical need for blood donations

August 15, 2016

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, in an effort to emphasize the need for donors across the region, is joining with centers in 22 countries this week in the “Missing Type” campaign.

STBTC is working with local and regional organizations on the effort. They have been removing the letters A, O and B from their names, raising awareness of the need for new blood donors with all blood types.

The idea was based on the insight that people rarely think about their blood type – most of us don’t even know it. But if that “type” were to go missing in everyday life, people would start to pay closer attention to the problem. So the letters A, O and B (the letters that make up the blood groups) were removed in places of high interest on a national scale.

Blood donations have declined 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years, and nationally, donations are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years. But even as collections have declined, the need has not – three blood transfusions are given every second around the world, and there are more than 11 million transfusions every year in the United States alone.

In South Texas, 16-year-olds can give blood if they weigh 120 pounds and have parental permission. Beginning at age 17, no permission is required. There is no upper age limit.

The typical whole blood donation takes about an hour. Donors also can choose to donate just platelets or just red blood cells; those donations typically take from 90-120 minutes.

There are a number of ways the public can support the Missing Type campaign:

  • Make an appointment to give blood here
  • Post photos of your donation on your social media profile(s) with our handheld Missing Type sign - download them here: Letter | Tabloid - and don't forget to use #MissingType so we can find your photos. (We promise to like/follow/share/RT)
  • You can also remove the As, Os and Bs from your profile name/photo 
  • Are you a business owner? Temporarily remove As, Bs and Os from your company sign and/or website

The Missing Type campaign was campaign was created in 2015 by NHS Blood and Transplant in England and North Wales for National Blood Week. It reached more than 2 billion people through news coverage and social media activity, and ultimately drove 30,000 new donors to register.