Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors

Donating blood

OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood donors to give now to prevent a shortage from continuing throughout winter.

The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood donations the weeks of Christmas and New year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. During this time, about 1,350 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs.

Officials say busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

“Many people may not realize that blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “When donations decline, as they did around the holidays and may further decline if severe winter weather and flu season pick up,  lifesaving medical treatments could be delayed.”

Red Cross officials say right now, they have less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand, which is well below the ideal five-day supply needed to respond to emergencies and daily hospital needs. Blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

All eligible donors, especially blood donors with type O blood, are urged to make an appointment to give in the coming days to help restock the shelves for hospital patients.

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

There are upcoming blood donation opportunities in Oklahoma from January 16 through February 15:

  • Blanchard
    • 1/26/2019
      • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Blanchard Public Library, 205 NE 10th Street
  • Cushing
    • 2/8/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at First Christian Church, 300 E. Moses
  • Midwest City
    • 2/11/2019
      • 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Rose State College Wellness Center, 6420 SE 15th Street
  • Noble
    • 1/31/2019
      • 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Noble High School, 4801 E. Etowah
  • Norman
    • 1/28/2019 and 2/11/2019 (same time, location)
      • 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at American Red Cross Norman Chapter, 1205 Halley Drive
  • Oklahoma City
    • 1/26/2019
      • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Penn Square Mall, 1901 NW Expressway
    • 2/6/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at MACU- NAIA, 3500 SW 119th Street
    • 2/7/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Tom & Brenda McDaniel University Center, 2501 N Blackwelder Ave
    • 2/9/2019
      • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Penn Square Mall, 1901 NW Expressway
    • 2/12/2019
      • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at University Of Oklahoma Gene Rainbolt School of Business, 865 Research Parkway
  • Stillwater
    • 1/20/2019
      • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Christian Church, 411 W. Matthews
    • 1/21/2019
      • 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Oklahoma State University Veterinarian School, OSU Veterinarian School, N McFarland Ave
    • 2/1/2019
      • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Stillwater Medical Center, 1323 W. 6th Avenue
    • 2/11/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Stillwater Community Center, 315 West 8th Avenue
  • Shawnee
    • 1/18/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 501 N. Broadway
    • 1/19/2019
      • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at BDC Gun Room, 40960 Hardesty Rd.
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