OBI says blood supply dangerously low

OBI says blood supply dangerously low
OBI says blood supply dangerously low(Our Blood Institute)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 3:34 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Our Blood Institute in Wichita Falls is asking donors to reschedule appointments as this week’s winter weather clears.

OBI said a significant number of appointments were canceled, and donations were already down from expected collections. OBI typically has a three-to-five-day supply of blood available but it is well below that level now. This could impact hospital needs.

Those who donate at a donor center on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 26 will receive their choice of a winter hat, gloves or ice scraper.

Successful donors will also receive an alien themed “Save the Humans” T-shirt. Additionally, the Wichita Falls donor center is usually closed on Saturday but will be open this Saturday to allow additional donors to give blood.

OBI needs 1,200 blood donations each day to maintain an ample supply of blood for state hospitals.

“January is always a difficult time as blood donations typically slow, and the winter weather is magnifying the problem,” John Armitage, M.D., OBI president and CEO said.

“Since the start of the year, blood donations are suffering substantially, and fewer people are donating. We need the public to step up and help secure their community blood supply,” Armitage said.

Anyone who is healthy and 16 years old or older can donate. Blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelets can be donated as often as every seven days, up to 24 times a year.

16-year-olds who plan to donate must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; individuals over the age of 18 must weigh at least 110 pounds. A photo ID is also required.

“Blood has no substitute, Patients across the state rely on blood products to fight cancer, survive trauma and heal after childbirth. Blood donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives,” Armitage said.

Appointments to donate can be made online or by calling (877) 340-8777.