Oklahoma Blood Institute needs you.

As we all are, OBI is facing a situation “such as we’ve never seen before” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that surgeries have been resumed, the state is facing a critical shortage of blood, what OBI described as “the single greatest challenge to the blood supply it’s ever seen.”

Blood must be used within 42 days of a donation, but OBI also lost more than a month’s worth of blood collections due to impacts from COVID-19.

Now, OBI is putting out a call for anyone who can donate to do so.

“In this time of need, such as we’ve never seen before, we’re calling one and all to respond with that remarkable Oklahoma Standard we’ve always seen from our generous donors,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

In an abundance of caution, we ask that donors refrain from giving blood if they have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19, unless it’s been 14 days since the complete resolution of symptoms; or if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, but never developed symptoms, unless it’s been 14 days since the positive test.

“Although COVID-19 is a new virus and more research is needed on how it spreads, current strategies for preventing and minimizing acute respiratory illnesses – including COVID-19 and the seasonal flu – remain relevant and timely,” said Tuan Le, M.D., chief medical officer of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

OBI provides more than 90% of the blood provided to patients in the state, requiring 1,200 donors each day to meet the demand.

There are two local blood drives coming up. The Pauls Valley Boots and Badges will be held Friday, May 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pauls Valley Fire Station. The Paoli Community Blood Drive will be held Tuesday, June 9 from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

To schedule a donation, people also can visit OBI.org or call (877) 340-8777.

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