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PHOENIX -- United Blood Services said it's experiencing a severe shortage of blood donations in Arizona as many flu-stricken donors are canceling their appointments.

Agency officials said nearly 80 hospital orders for blood went unfilled by the blood bank Tuesday.

The company strives for about 700 donors a day since it provides blood services to 58 hospitals across Arizona.

Donors with O-negative blood are especially in need because their blood can be safely given to all people. There also are shortages in A-negative, B-negative, AB-negative and O-positive.

Meanwhile, demand is higher than normal because hospitals delay many elective surgeries until after the holiday season.

Agency officials said they are turning to their sister agencies in other states for needed blood, or they will shift supplies among the Arizona hospitals.

Associated Press,

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