Critical Local Blood Need Continues: Special Holiday Weekend Hours Set at Donor Centers


TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma Blood Institute’s (OBI) critical need for blood, announced Monday, continues.  Currently, the state’s blood center has less than a typical, two-day supply for patients in the 150 Oklahoma medical facilities it serves. 

Due to the urgent need, Oklahoma Blood Institute Donor Centers have extended hours during the Easter holiday weekend to make giving blood more convenient.  Centers listed will be open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, Apr. 2, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 3.

Tulsa, 4601 E. 81

Ponca City, 518 N. 14

Edmond, 3409 S. Broadway
Oklahoma City, 5105 N. Portland
Oklahoma City, 1001 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Norman, 1004 24th Ave. N.W.
Ada, 1930 Stonecipher Blvd.
Ardmore, 1420 Veterans Blvd.
Enid, 301 E. Cherokee
Lawton, 211 S.W. “A” Ave.

Easter Sunday, Apr. 4, these donor centers will open 1 to 5 p.m.:

Tulsa, 4601 E. 81

Oklahoma City, 5105 N. Portland

Edmond, 3409 S. Broadway

Ardmore, 1420 Veterans Blvd.

Enid, 301 E. Cherokee

Appointments can be made by visiting www.obi.org or calling 1-877-340-8777.

“We’re facing a very serious situation that’s requiring these extra measures.  We’re pleading for blood donors this weekend,” John Armitage, M.D., President and CEO, said.  “The blood supply is vulnerable, and we wouldn’t be opening on Easter Sunday if we weren’t very concerned about meeting the needs of patients in our state during the next week.  We are sincerely grateful to donors who make it a priority to give now, and to our staff working on Easter to support our mission.”

All healthy adults, 17 and older, are encouraged to give blood at a donor center or area blood drive within the next few days.  All blood types are needed.  Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Those with O Negative blood types are especially asked to give, since they comprise only nine percent of the population but have the blood type that can be universally used until the blood type of a patient in urgent need can be determined.

Schedule of upcoming Northeastern Oklahoma blood drives:
Monday, April 5 (4-7pm) Bounce-U “In Honor of Baby Emma Routh”, Tulsa
Monday, April 5 (11am-2pm) Broken Arrow Rotarians, Broken Arrow
Tuesday, April 6 (9am-3pm) Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah
Tuesday, April 6 (Noon-5:30) Sam Hider Clinic, Jay
Wednesday, April 7 (3-7pm) Wilson Schools, Coalton
Thursday, April 8 (11am-4:30pm) Oklahoma School For The Blind, Muskogee
Thursday, April 8 (noon-4pm) Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow Campus
Friday, April 9 (10:30am-3pm) Bacone College, Muskogee Campus
Friday, April 9 (10am-4pm) SouthCrest Hospital, Tulsa

The shortage has occurred even though more donors are turning out to give than in previous years.  “We have seen some 1,300 more people give blood this March as compared to last year, but the needs of our partner hospitals have spiked,” Armitage says. “Even with use of reliable forecasting methodologies and solid coordination with hospitals on a daily, sometimes even hourly basis, the increase in need could not be foreseen. 

“While some hospitals may not be utilizing more, others are,” Armitage explains.  “It varies, as you would expect, but as a blood center, we have not seen this trend in recent years, nor did we anticipate it now.”

OBI provides every drop of blood used by patients in most hospitals statewide, including all Oklahoma City metro-area hospitals. Oklahoma Blood Institute Tulsa Center provides blood to 25 medical facilities in Northeastern Oklahoma including the Saint Francis Health System, SouthCrest Hospital, Tulsa Spine and Specialty Hospital and Tulsa Life Flight.  

“Blood is currently available to meet patients’ need at the hospitals we serve. However, our reserve levels, the projections for need and expected donors within the next few days cause us great concern.” Armitage said.

One in three people will need blood in a lifetime. 

However, of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., less than five percent actually give each year.

Each time a person donates blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute, it can save the lives of as many as three people.

Oklahoma Blood Institute is the twelfth largest, non-profit blood center in America.   

Updated 04-02-2010

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