Blood donors urgently needed as cancelled appointments, blood drives impact supply.
As winter weather moved into the area this past week, blood donors began cancelling appointments and blood drives were delayed, forcing an already struggling blood supply to critically low levels. This blood shortage has the potential to impact hospitals and patients in need.
Our Blood Institute (OBI) is asking donors to reschedule appointments and come in to donate as soon as possible as the weather clears.
Right now, OBI only has a 1–2-day supply of blood, which is well below our safe stock level. For over a week, OBI has been sending out more blood to hospitals than it is bringing in from donors. If this continues, it could impact treatments for cancer, scheduling of surgeries, and transfusions of all types. OBI is not alone in this blood deficit. In the last few weeks, other blood providers across the nation have also declared emergency blood shortages.
OBI is the primary blood supplier for the state of Oklahoma, exclusively servicing more than 95 percent of Oklahoma’s hospitals, medical facilities, and air ambulances.
“January is always a difficult time, as blood donations are typically slow during the holidays and in the weeks following, and the winter weather is magnifying the problem,” said Dr. John Armitage, Our Blood Institute president and CEO. “Since the start of the year, blood donations are lagging significantly and fewer people are donating. We urgently ask the public to step up and help secure their community blood supply.”
Successful donors will receive a short-sleeved, glow-in-the-dark “When I’m Not Hibernating, I’m Donating Blood” T-shirt.
Blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelets can be donated as often as every seven days, up to 24 times a year.
“Blood has no substitute,” Armitage said. “Patients across the state rely on blood products to fight cancer, survive trauma and heal after childbirth. Blood donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives.”
Anyone who is healthy and 16 years old* or older can give blood. Appointments to donate can be made online at obi.org or by calling 877-340-8777. Walk-ins are also welcome.
*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds. Photo ID required.
Our Blood Institute is the sixth-largest independent blood center in the nation, with 16 donor centers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. OBI is the nonprofit blood provider for patients at more than 240 hospitals, medical facilities, and air ambulances across all three states.
Date and Time
Wednesday Jan 17, 2024
Saturday Feb 17, 2024
Walk in's are always welcome however, you can schedule a time to that is convenient for you as well as see upcoming blood drives in your area at https://www.yourbloodinstitute.org/donor/schedules/zip