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.

Jessy Dershem, executive director of the OBI Enid donor center, said individual donations and more blood drives are needed to help overcome shortages.

“We are calling on Oklahomans to roll up their sleeves and donate blood during this critical time,” Dershem said. “But, the cancellations from organizations who were scheduled to host blood drives has been unprecedented. We really need businesses, churches and communities to step up and host blood drives. For those who have a scheduled blood drive, it is crucial for you to stay committed to helping Oklahoma patients.”

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

Today is the final day of the annual Pork Council Blood Drive at OBI’s Enid donor center, at 301 E. Cherokee. Times for the drive are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Any organization wanting to host a blood drive can contact OBI Enid at (580) 233-9323. To schedule a donation, people also can visit OBI.org or call (877) 340-8777.

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