THE UK is facing a massive blood shortage as supplies drop "critically" low – putting countless operations under threat.
NHS Blood and Transplant has declared its first-ever amber alert status as stores of O type blood fall.
Hospitals have been urged to postpone elective surgeries, such as hip replacements, where donor blood is necessary.
Experts warn supply issues will last at least four weeks.
A spokesperson from NHS England said that around 1 per cent of all blood use in in hospitals across the country will be affected.
An alert sent to Brits with O type blood reads: "Stocks of your blood type are critically low and we need your support."
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The NHS is calling on people with that blood type to donate to save "people in need".
Wendy Clark, of NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Asking hospitals to limit their use of blood is not a step we take lightly.
"This is a vital measure to protect patients who need blood the most.
She added: “Patients are our focus. I sincerely apologise to those patients who may see their surgery postponed because of this."
O type blood is universal, meaning it can be given to everyone.
It is vitally important during emergencies and when the blood type of the recipient is unknown.
Current overall blood stocks in the NHS stand at 3.1 days but levels of O type blood have fallen to below two days, a spokeswoman said.
The current amber alert is also thought to be due to ongoing staffing issues, with more staff needed to work at donor sessions.
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