The surge in the flu and other common winter illnesses has Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) ready for ‘double trouble’. “If you’re well, you are needed to stand in the gap for those who aren’t, at the Quail Springs Mall blood drive,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO.
“With more hospitalized, the need for blood often increases,” said Armitage. “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 real challenge.”
Anyone, who is 16 years and older * and healthy, can donate Saturday, February 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Quail Springs Mall, lower level near HuHot Restaurant. Each blood donor at the drive will receive an OBI ball cap, free health screenings and Donor Rewards points.
Blood donors can choose to forgo the donor appreciation items. Then, funds designated for these items will be directed to Global Blood Fund (GBF), a charity whose mission is to make safe blood available in the world’s poorest countries.
Although all blood types are needed to maintain Oklahoma Blood Institute’s typical three-day supply, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, those with O-negative blood type make up only nine percent of the national population. However, O-negative blood can be used by anyone in an emergency situation, regardless of their type.
Donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute provide every drop of blood needed by patients in all area hospitals. 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 and those 18 and older must weigh at least 110 pounds.