Oklahoma Blood Institute experiencing blood shortage

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/11/2019 04:00 PM
TULSA – Oklahoma Blood Institute officials said the OBI is experiencing an emergency blood shortage and is issuing an urgent call for donors of all blood types.

Several days of winter weather, blood drive cancellations and widespread illness, including a flu outbreak, have all contributed to a sharp downturn in donations. Levels have reached a less than one-day supply. Typically, the OBI maintains a three- to five-day supply for local hospitals.

“Because close to a quarter of our blood collections comes from school blood drives, school closings can be devastating to our inventory. With spring break around the corner, our schools and universities will be out again, and many people will be leaving the state for vacation. So, it is imperative to replenish the supply right away,” John Armitage, OBI president and CEO said. “We are calling on all healthy Oklahomans to take about an hour of their time to give blood for our friends and neighbors in need.”

The OBI encourages all Oklahomans, age 16 and older, to donate blood as soon as they can. To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit obi.org to see a list of mobile blood drives. Donors may also visit OBI’s Tulsa donor center near 81st and Yale.

Volunteer donors with the OBI exclusively provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.

Every two seconds, someone needs blood. One donation saves up to three lives. The OBI depends on an average of 1,200 donors per day to meet the needs of patients in the state. These patients rely on blood to survive an emergency injury or illness, or for ongoing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases and conditions.

The OBI has developed “Thank the Donor,” a web application that allows blood recipients to send messages of appreciation, photos, or videos to their individual blood donors. To view messages from patients who are given hope, health and healing through blood donation, visit www.drawing-together.org.

For more information about the OBI, visit obi.org.

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