Weather prompts requests for blood

Supervisor Penny Stovall begins the process of drawing blood from donor Jenny Huggins on Wednesday at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center.
News Reporter

With potentially nasty weather in the forecast for Friday and the weekend, Oklahoma Blood Institute is urging donors to make blood donation part of their winter preparedness plan.  

This month’s winter weather already has negatively affected Oklahoma Blood Institute’s supply of blood for local hospitals. Also, during inclement conditions, the number of traffic accidents and other weather-related incidents rises, increasing the need for blood.

Donors are encouraged to give blood at one of Oklahoma Blood Institute’s convenient donor centers or mobile drives while running errands before winter weather moves into the area. Blood donation typically takes only about an hour and one donation saves up to three lives. Those with negative blood types are especially encouraged to give.

January also is National Blood Donor Month, and Oklahoma Blood Institute encourages Oklahomans to accept the “Blood Donor Challenge” to save more lives in the New Year. 

Most healthy adults age 16 and older can give blood at one of the following drives:

• Today from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Choctaw Casino, Pocola.

• Friday from 1:45 to 5:45 p.m. at LeFlore County EMS.

Donors will receive a free Blood Donor Challenge T-shirt and free health screenings. 

Oklahoma Blood Institute marks its 40th anniversary this year. In 1977, Oklahoma Blood Institute launched a mission to save local lives. Four decades later, Oklahoma Blood Institute has grown to serve transfusion and health care needs for patients in 165 hospitals statewide.

“Some of our friends and neighbors are facing another year of difficult and life-threatening health challenges,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

“Oklahoma Blood Institute invites those who are healthy but have never given life-saving blood to join the Blood Donor Challenge movement.  And, since our current donors typically give only once or twice a year, we hope they are inspired to give as often as they can this year.”

Whole blood donations can be made every 56 days.  Platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year.

Oklahoma Blood Institute is a non-profit blood center that relies on donations from an average of 1,200 donors each day to meet the needs of patients. 

One blood donation can save as many as three lives, and takes only about an hour. Those with negative blood types are especially urged to donate.