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OBI: Flu negatively affecting blood donations

OKLAHOMA CITY – While health officials are warning Oklahomans to take precautions against the flu, the Oklahoma Blood Institute says its blood supply is being negatively affected by the virus.

Officials with the blood institute say the flu has caused many regular donors to be unable to donate blood. Also, the flu has caused several schools to close, which account for about 20 percent of OBI’s blood donations.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is urging all healthy adults who are over the age of 16 to give blood.

Blood donors who have been diagnosed with the flu should wait seven days since their last symptoms to give blood. Also, donors may give blood the same day they receive a flu vaccine.

“The flu has hit our state particularly hard, but the need for blood remains constant, and there is no substitute,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “That’s why we are calling on all donors who are able to give blood, or those who have never given before, to stop by one of our donor centers or mobile blood drives. If you have recovered from the flu, or been unaffected by it, we urge you to use your good health to save lives today.”