OBI: Oklahoma blood supply dwindling as donations slow

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Blood Institute says it is in desperate need for blood donations, saying the local blood supply has been pushed to its limits.

Officials with the OBI say they are seeing a drop in donations, which has resulted in dramatically decreased levels of available blood.

OBI usually has a three- to five-day supply of blood available.

However, experts say the current supply is well below that level.

“As a nation, we’re experiencing a shortage of available blood,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “We’ve battled COVID for more than a year, but we could never have expected that these closing months of the pandemic would bring our most critical period of blood need. America is coming back to life, but we just don’t have a stable blood supply, locally or at a national level.”

OBI officials say they are at the lowest level of donations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Hospital usage of various blood products has surged to its highest level in OBI’s 44-year history, as patients return to routine medical care and trauma-related needs increase. Routine donations are also sharply down from previous levels, as many donors report confusion about their eligibility to donate before or after a COVID vaccination.

While vaccination isn’t required to donate, those who have been vaccinated can donate immediately, as long as they feel well. Each donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives.

Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to donate at 877-340-8777 or obi.org.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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