Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, the exclusive provider of blood for patients at 44 area healthcare facilities, is announcing an emergency appeal for all blood types. Reserves are alarmingly low, with less than a one-day supply available. Eligible donors are asked to give immediately at a CBCO blood drive or donor center.
"We continue to see blood reserve levels ebb and flow, but the situation right now is dire," CBCO executive director Anthony Roberts said. "Summer transfusion numbers are the highest we have seen in years, and when you combine that with lower than usual donation rates, it creates a very difficult situation. What we need right now is a dedicated donor response to give to our true local provider. Your friends and neighbors need your help right now."
"It is always a challenge to find willing blood donors during the summer months, but the need for blood knows no season. It is vital for the health of our community to have a robust reserve. We are calling on all eligible donors to give this week if they are able."
Area healthcare leaders are very supportive of the area's exclusive provider of blood, platelets, and plasma. "Sometimes it is hard to know what one person can do to make a difference during the still ongoing pandemic. Give blood. You can make a difference that could help save lives," says Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth. "The ready availability of blood is vital to our ability to care for our loved ones. We are grateful for CBCO. They are a great partner, and their work is vital."
"Summer is typically a time we see traumatic injuries, as people head outside to enjoy the Ozarks," said Craig McCoy, president of Mercy Springfield Communities. "It could be your family member who suddenly needs a transfusion to save their life. We must have the blood supply on hand so we can react quickly. Now is a great time to spend just a few minutes serving your community by donating blood."
People who have received a covid-19 vaccination may donate blood with no waiting period. They must meet the basic eligibility requirements of being at least 16 years old, weighing at least 110 pounds and feeling well and healthy at the time of donation.
Donors can give at one of four CBCO donor centers located in Springfield, Joplin, Springdale, Ark., or Bentonville, Ark. There are also opportunities to give at mobile blood drives across the Ozarks. CBCO follows community protocols regarding covid-19. To find a blood drive coming to your area or to make an appointment to give, go to www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.
On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.
Appeal is called as blood reserves reach dangerous levels. Hospital transfusions this summer are the highest since 2017.