OBI Blood Drive promotion

Angela Brown of Coweta donates blood at the 2019 Wagoner County Emergency Preparedness Expo. Since this year’s Expo is cancelled, OBI will still hold a March 28 blood drive using mobile units in the BancFirst Coweta parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CHRISTY WHEELAND/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

Despite cancellation of the Wagoner County Emergency Preparedness Expo on March 28, one of the key events held in conjunction with that day will go on as scheduled in a new location.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute blood drive traditionally held during the Expo is relocating to BancFirst Coweta, 14269 S. Hwy. 51, where two blood mobiles will be open for donations in the parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

OBI spokesperson Lucy Laird said the Expo blood drive is traditionally the largest drive of the year in all of Wagoner County, and is critical to making sure there is an adequate blood supply in area hospitals.

“We normally collect 140 units of blood during this drive, but we do not expect that Saturday,” Laird said. “These are micro drives because of the Center for Disease Control. We do follow all of those precautions. Every blood type matters right now.”

“Hundreds of drives have been cancelled, but the number of people who have given during this crisis has been amazing. We have great blood donors with OBI – they are coming out.”

With so many blood drives being cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laird said public support of Saturday’s drive is very important. People should also be on the lookout for mobile blood units being set up in other communities over the course of the spring.

If someone has a space or parking lot they are willing to let a blood mobile come to, call 918-703-4800.

“It’s a whole different look for a blood drive right now, and temperatures will be taken on all people coming in,” Laird reminded. “Please make an appointment by calling 877-340-8777 or visit obi.org.”