OBI Asking People to Donate Blood During Nationwide Blood Shortage

Beverly Cantrell - December 20, 2021 11:07 am

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KOKH)– According to the American Red Cross, the nation’s blood supply is at one of its lowest levels in years.

The organization said blood centers across the country are reporting less than one day’s supply of blood.

At the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), there’s a crucial need for blood during the holidays.

Carson Cunningham, Public Relations Manager at OBI, said the Institute is doing everything it can to motivate people to come in and donate during the holiday season.

“During December leading into Christmas and even the New Year, it’s certainly a time where we really need our donors to show up and donate,” Cunningham said.

OBI is holding a 5 Days of Christmas event with prizes.

Anyone who gives blood through Dec. 22 will be entered for a chance to win a $500 VISA gift card.

Donors will also receive a Christmas ornament, a holiday-themed t-shirt, and a VUDU movie pass.

“We always want to give back to our donors,” Cunningham said. “We have a lot of loyal donors that as soon as they’re able to donate, they do and we love giving back to them. But it also is an incentive to bring in new donors as well in the Christmas spirit.”

Cunningham said 1,200 donors a day meet the state’s blood supply needs.

During the holidays though, donations decrease.

“During the holiday season a lot of people are busy and we certainly understand that, so more incentives the better,” Cunningham said.

Maintaining blood supply is not only crucial for our local hospitals, but also for our neighbors.

“Our Blood Emergency Readiness Core, which Oklahoma Blood Institute developed, brings in 25 different blood centers in 30 states,” Cunningham said. “We all on a rotating call keep extra spare units of blood for situations exactly like the tornados out in the Midwest.”

When the devastating tornadoes hit Kentucky, Oklahomans immediately responded to the call for help.

“The Oklahoma Standard is a term that gets thrown out a lot, but we certainly saw that with the situation in Kentucky,” Cunningham said. “Our donor center here was packed once we put the alert out that we needed blood. People showed up in droves.”

Along with helping during tragic situations, Cunningham said virtually every drop in our local hospitals comes from donors at OBI.

“I think a lot of people when they think of donating blood they probably wonder to themselves, ‘is this even really helping anyone? Where does it go? Can it really help?’ The simple fact is one blood donation can save up to three lives,” Cunningham said.

If you would like to donate blood at OBI, you can get more information here: https://obi.org/

 

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