OBI

Blood donors embody the best of who Oklahomans are, giving selflessly so the state can rise and recover together. COVID-19 has taken a toll on the blood supply, in fact the state is facing the most critical blood shortage ever. As elective surgeries and treatments resume, Oklahoma Blood Institute has an immediate need for all eligible blood donors.

Oklahoma Blood Institute will host a blood drive with the Skiatook Community on Wednesday, May 20, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church Skiatook (940 W. Oak St.). Healthy donors are urged to give blood, and appointments are strongly encouraged to allow for recommended social distancing.

Donors will receive a free summer themed t-shirt and their choice of one free entry voucher to Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City or two free entry vouchers to Safari Joe’s H2O Water & Adventure Park in Tulsa. Available at this blood drive donors age 18+ can receive a COVID-19 antibody screening test at no cost.

Oklahoma Blood Institute supports the inventory for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.

“We must ensure a robust blood supply as hospitals prepare for more surgeries, treatments, and procedures,” said Jan Laub, Executive Director. “Oklahomans have built a legacy of rising together in times of hardship. We are so grateful to our blood drive coordinators, community partners and health care professionals who encourage blood donation. Our donors represent the Oklahoma Standard — providing hope, healing, and comfort to communities recovering in crisis.”

Oklahoma Blood Institute’s donor centers and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. In addition, donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adapted to allow for social distancing. All phlebotomy staff will wear masks. Staff members and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility, to ensure only healthy individuals are present.

Oklahoma Blood Institute is following recommendations and guidelines set forth by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks). Oklahoma Blood Institute is committed to maintaining the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports no cases of COVID-19 transmitted through blood transfusion, and respiratory viruses generally are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion.

Blood donation typically takes only about an hour, and one donation saves up to three lives. Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or visiting obi.org. More information on Oklahoma Blood Institute can be found at obi.org.

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E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.