Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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February 19, 2014

Healthy blood donors needed

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — The surge in the flu and other common winter illnesses has Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) ready for ‘double trouble.’

Close to home a couple of blood drives are coming this week to help out.

“If you’re well, you are needed to stand in the gap for those who aren’t by attending blood drives in Pauls Valley and Paoli,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO.

“With more hospitalized, the need for blood often increases,” said Armitage.

“At the same time, some regular blood donors are coming down with viruses or the flu and temporarily can’t give. It can be a real challenge.”

Those eligible to donate are encouraged to come to the first drive scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at Curwood in Pauls Valley.

The very next day, Friday, Feb. 21, is when an OBI blood drive will be held at Paoli High School from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The drives come shortly after OBI had called off its blood emergency across the state as its supply had reached a less than one-day supply.

Declines in blood donations due to the recent winter weather left the blood inventory critically low as many school and business blood drives were canceled.

One drive not canceled was last week at Pauls Valley High School.

Any 16-year-olds looking to donate must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission, while 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and anyone 18 or older must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Blood donors could receive a hot/cold gel pack, T-shirt, free health screenings and Donor Rewards points.

Donors can choose to forgo the gel pack. Then, funds designated for this item will be directed to Global Blood Fund (GBF), a charity whose mission is to make safe blood available in the world’s poorest countries.

Although all blood types are needed to maintain Oklahoma Blood Institute’s typical three-day supply, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate.

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, those with O-negative blood type make up only nine percent of the national population.

However, O-negative blood can be used by anyone in an emergency situation, regardless of their type.

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