OBI sends blood to help Kentucky tornado victims, calls on Oklahomans to donate

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Blood donation

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As states like Kentucky continue to deal with the tragic destruction from this past week’s tornados, the Oklahoma Blood Institute is reminding Oklahomans of a way anyone can donate.

“It can be literally the difference between life and death,” said OBI CEO and President Dr. John Armitage. “Your unit getting there to the hospital is that next layer of care that a lot of those patients who’ve suffered in the tornados need now.”

He says they have been in contact with a blood center in Kentucky.

“Back on Saturday, they had 17 patients in their hospitals that were being treated,” he said.

But the states hit hardest by this tornado will continue to need blood in the coming weeks.

“The other problem is there were some outages of power for future blood drives,” he said. “So they have to et through the immediate problem of the trauma of the tornado and then the follow-on problem of cancelled drives and donors who are preoccupied with recovery.”

Dr. Armitage says the pandemic has also affected how much surplus blood there is to give.

“The fabric of the blood supply is pretty fragile right now,” he said. “So any little hits to the supply that’s something we all want to respond to.”

He says OBI has not scheduled any extra blood drives at the time being, but you can help by donating in the coming weeks.

“If you want to help with preparedness for the next disaster [or] help with the recovery from this series of tornados in the midwest, please come out.”

For more information on blood drives, go to www.obi.org.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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