May 23, 2019 – The flooding and severe weather ravaging Oklahoma has critically impacted Oklahoma Blood Institute’s supply of lifesaving blood. Oklahoma Blood Institute is issuing a call to donors of all blood types to give blood as soon as possible, in order to prevent a blood shortage.
Days of severe weather, tornadoes, and widespread flooding that is particularly affecting areas of northeastern and eastern Oklahoma along the Arkansas River, have all contributed to a sharp downturn in donations. Oklahoma Blood Institute depends on approximately 1,200 donors per day to maintain a robust blood supply; however, blood drive collections are at least two days behind due to numerous blood drive cancellations and weather concerns.
“This weather emergency is something we have not seen in our area for many years. Dozens of blood drives have been canceled or postponed, and many people are unable to keep their regular donation appointments. However, our local patients are still depending on blood,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “The Oklahoma Standard of neighbor helping neighbor always shines through in difficult times. That’s why we’re calling on all healthy Oklahomans who have an hour of time to spare to give blood at their nearest donor center or mobile blood drive.”
Oklahoma Blood Institute 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 Oklahoma Blood Institute’s Tulsa donor center near 81st & Yale.
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.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood. One donation saves up to three lives. Patients rely on blood to survive an emergency injury or illness, or for ongoing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases and conditions.
Oklahoma Blood Institute has developed “Thank the Donor™,” a unique 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, please visit www.drawing-together.org to see their heartfelt appreciations.
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.
*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