Ice storm creates emergency blood shortage, OBI calls for all donors

Oklahoma Blood Institute is experiencing an emergency blood shortage and is issuing an urgent call for donors of all blood types.
A rare ice storm that affected much of the service area has caused additional closures and cancellations, adding to the already critical problem of continuous blood drive cancellations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Oklahoma Blood Institute is seeing a significant downturn in donations and has exhausted typical recruitment efforts.
Oklahoma Blood Institute’s life-saving stock of blood has reached a less-than-one-day supply. Typically, Oklahoma Blood Institute maintains a three- to five-day supply for local hospitals.
“COVID-19 has put tremendous strain on the blood supply for months, but this unseasonable inclement weather was the real catalyst for a blood emergency in our state,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “The need for blood is constant – someone needs a life-saving transfusion every two seconds. 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.”
Oklahoma Blood Institute encourages all Oklahomans, age 16 and older, to donate blood as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 877-340-8777 or visit obi.org to see a list of donor centers and mobile blood drives.
All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies to identify potential convalescent plasma donors.* Blood drives will be managed according to CDC safety recommendations.
Volunteer donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide. One donation saves up to three lives. Oklahoma Blood Institute depends on an average of 1,200 donors per day to meet the needs of patients in our 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.
Look for updates on this alert on Oklahoma Blood Institute’s social media platforms. More information about Oklahoma Blood Institute can be found at obi.org.

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