October 28, 2020 – Oklahoma Blood Institute is experiencing an emergency
blood shortage and is issuing an urgent call for donors of all blood types.
A rare ice storm that affected much of the service area has caused
additional closures and cancellations, adding to the already critical
problem of continuous blood drive cancellations amid the COVID-19
pandemic. Oklahoma Blood Institute is seeing a significant downturn in
donations and has exhausted typical recruitment efforts.
Oklahoma Blood Institute's life-saving stock of blood has reached a
less-than-one-day supply. Typically, Oklahoma Blood Institute maintains a
three- to five-day supply for local hospitals.
"COVID-19 has put tremendous strain on the blood supply for months, but
this unseasonable inclement weather was the real catalyst for a blood
emergency in our state," said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of
Oklahoma Blood Institute. "The need for blood is constant - someone needs
a life-saving transfusion every two seconds. We are calling on all healthy
Oklahomans to take about an hour of their time to give blood for our
friends and neighbors in need."
Oklahoma Blood Institute encourages all Oklahomans, age 16 and older, to
donate blood as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment to give
blood, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit obi.org to see a list of donor centers
and mobile blood drives.
All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies to identify potential
convalescent plasma donors.* Blood drives will be managed according to CDC
Volunteer donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provide every
drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical
facilities and air ambulances statewide. One donation saves up to three
lives. Oklahoma Blood Institute depends on an average of 1,200 donors per
day to meet the needs of patients in our state. These patients rely on
blood to survive an emergency injury or illness, or for ongoing treatment
for cancer and other life-threatening diseases and conditions.
Look for updates on this alert on Oklahoma Blood Institute's social media
platforms. More information about Oklahoma Blood Institute can be found
*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. Photo ID required. Donors ages 16 or
17-years old need parental consent to be screened for COVID-19 antibodies
and are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. This test has not been
FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an EUA
(Emergency Use Authorization) for use by authorized laboratories. The test
has been authorized only for the detection of the IgG antibody against
SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. Blood drives will be
managed according to CDC safety recommendations. Test results will be made