The surge in common winter illnesses, such as the flu, has Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) ready for ‘double trouble’. “As more are hospitalized, the need for blood can increase,” said Daren Coats, Vice President of Western Operations Division. “At the same time, some regular blood donors are coming down with viruses or the flu and, temporarily, can’t give. It can be a significant challenge.”
Healthy adults* can stand in the gap for those who aren’t well by giving at two Altus blood drives on Saturday. One will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Altus Motorsports, and the other will be at Wal-Mart from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Donors receive Blood Donor Challenge T-shirts.
Although all blood types are needed to maintain Oklahoma Blood Institute’s typical three-day supply, those with negative-type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, only 18 percent of the national population has negative blood types. Yet, patients with negative-type blood must receive it.
Patients in 154 hospitals across the state, including all SW Oklahoma area, solely rely on donors with OBI for blood when needed. Appointments to donate are not required but are available by calling 877-340-8777 or visiting www.obi.org.
* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds