Claremore Daily Progress

December 13, 2013

‘Recovery’ blood drive scheduled for Dec. 17 at Will Rogers Downs

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE —

Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) declared a blood emergency on Dec. 5. Since then, 40 scheduled blood drives have been canceled due to inclement weather conditions. About 1,600 blood donors were expected at those blood drives, according to information provided by OBI.
“Recovery” blood drives have been scheduled across northeast Oklahoma to increase the supply, including a mobile drive that will take place from 3-7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs.
Donors with OBI provide every drop of blood for patients in 144 medical facilities throughout the state, including the Claremore Indian Hospital.
“We have seen a strong response from Oklahomans wanting to help. The supply is inching back up, but so far this week, more blood drives have been lost,” said Dr. John Armitage, OBI president and CEO. “To maintain a sufficient supply for all the patients relying on us, an average of 600 donors a day is needed. The need for blood is constant no matter what the weather, due to its limited time for use. A few days of diminished donation has a huge impact.”
Sara Wilson, OBI communication specialist for northeastern Oklahoma, said December can be a difficult time to accumulate blood donations. 
With inclement weather, holiday vacations and cold/flu illnesses, OBI blood drive coordinators are having to work extra hard to keep up with demands. All Oklahomans ages 16 and older, who are able to safely travel, are encouraged to donate blood as soon as possible. 
“There are adequate supplies of blood to meet the needs of patients now at the hospitals we serve, but our projection for need within the coming days cause great concern,” said Armitage.
Donations take about an hour and can be made every 56 days. To schedule an appointment to donate blood at any OBI site, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit obi.org.
Local organizations interested in hosting a blood drive, can contact Michael Rosenthaler at (918) 607-8724 or email mrosenthaler@obi.org.