OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While many families will be celebrating Independence Day this weekend, the Oklahoma Blood Institute says it is concerned about the state’s current blood supply.
Officials say OBI’s blood supply remains at a critical level heading into the holiday weekend.
Organizers say that while Oklahomans have donated more blood, the blood supply has not rebounded since hospital usage has dramatically increased.
In fact, last week’s hospital usage was nearly 20% higher than expected.
OBI officials say they like to have a robust blood supply heading into the Fourth of July since traumatic injuries from car crashes and fireworks tend to occur.
Unfortunately, the issue is not impacting Oklahoma alone.
Recently, an active shooter in Austin shot 14 people, which created an immediate need for blood. That area’s blood center put out a national call for help, but only 20% of their need was met by other blood centers because of the nationwide blood shortage.
“The last year has been an unstable pattern of ups and downs for our blood supply, but none has been so worrying as the barely detectable reaction to the 14-victim shooting in Austin,” said Dr. John Armitage, President and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Such an anemic reaction is not at all typical and warns of a weakening national resilience to face the next mass casualty event.”
To rebuild the blood supply and be prepared for the holiday weekend, donors are needed immediately.
Donors can find locations to donate at obi.org or by calling 877-340-8777. While COVID-19 vaccination is not required of blood donors, those who have been vaccinated can donate immediately, assuming they are feeling well.