OBI issues blood emergency

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Updated: 12/06/2013 2:17 pm Published: 12/06/2013 2:16 pm

The Oklahoma Blood Institute declared a blood emergency across the state.

Declines in blood donation due to difficult travel have diminished the supply. Many school and business blood drives have been cancelled Thursday through Sunday.

Officials with OBI said the needs by patients in area hospitals continue and OBI encourages all Oklahomans, age 16 and older, who are able to safely travel to donate blood now.

OBI Tulsa Donor Center, 4601 E 81st St, is open until 6p.m. today and will be open extended hours Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Promenade Mall is hosting a blood supply recovery drive Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. in the mall's National Guard wing.

"The need for donation is constant, since blood has a limited time for use," John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO, said. "Thursday, we had more than 450 fewer donors than planned across the state. With a typical supply of three to five days, it only takes a storm like this to put us into an emergency status."

Donors with OBI provide every drop of blood for patients in more than 144 medical facilities throughout the state including: Saint Francis Health System, Integris and Mercy Systems, OU Medical Center, the VA Hospitals in Muskogee and OKC, as well as all Indian Health Facilities. Tulsa-area medical facilities also include Cancer Treatment Center, Tulsa Spine and Specialty Hospital, and Tulsa Life Flight.

"Presently, there are adequate supplies of blood to meet the needs of patients now at the hospitals we serve, but our projections for need and expected donors within the next few days cause great concern," said Armitage.

Donations take about an hour. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit to see a list of blood drives and donor centers.

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