March 23, 2020 ─ Hundreds of blood drives have been cancelled due to escalating concerns regarding coronavirus. These cancellations will result in the loss of thousands of blood units, but blood can’t wait. Blood donation is safe and critical to preventing a blood shortage. Local patients need life-saving blood now more than ever.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is hosting upcoming blood drives. Donors are encouraged to give blood at one of these locations, and appointments are strongly encouraged to aid with social distancing:
- Tonkawa Fire Department, 201 S. Main; Friday, April 3rd , from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Ponca City Fire Department, 500 E. Grand; Monday, April 6th, from 9 a.m. to Noon
- RCB Bank, 1223 E. Highland Ave.; Thursday, April 9th, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Atwoods of Ponca City, 401 E. Prospect Ave.; Friday, April 10th , from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Oklahoma Blood Institute depends on 1,200 donors per day to support the inventory needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.
“Blood is a perishable product and we need constant donations not only to meet our community needs, but in case of local and national emergencies,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “We urge healthy adults to donate blood so that the crucial supply can be maintained for our local patients who depend on blood products during treatment for cancer, traumatic injuries and other life-threatening conditions.”
Oklahoma Blood Institute’s donor centers and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. In addition, donor centers and mobile blood drives are being adapted to allow for social distancing. All staff and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility, to ensure only healthy individuals are present.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is following recommendations and guidelines set forth by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks). Oklahoma Blood Institute is committed to maintaining the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports no cases of COVID-19 transmitted through blood transfusion, and respiratory viruses generally are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion.
Blood donation typically takes only about an hour, and one donation saves up to three lives. Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or visiting obi.org. More information on Oklahoma Blood Institute can be found at obi.org.
*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.