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Desperate need for blood donations heading into the holiday weekend

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 08:08:53-04

TULSA, Okla. — There is a desperate need for blood across the country but here in the Sooner State, the Oklahoma Blood Institute says their supply is at a critical level heading into the Fourth of July weekend.

Hospitals usually see an uptick in emergency room visits for a variety of reasons which has OBI and hospital staff nervous heading into the holiday weekend. The institute is now urging the public to donate blood to help keep their shelves stocked so they have ample supply for those who may need it.

“We need blood on the shelf for emergencies and traumas. We have an upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend and history shows that we are going to need blood. We need to make sure we have it on our shelf for hospitals,” the executive director for Tulsa’s Blood Institute, Jan Laub said.

OBI tells 2 News the pandemic indirectly caused the shortage. Blood drives were canceled and many people weren’t comfortable coming in to donate.

2 News also spoke with Mariah Johnston. She is the mother of a three-year-old boy who was born with severe congenital heart defects. Over the past three years, her son had eight surgeries. She says donated blood has literally been the difference between life and death.

“He can go from being just fine to very critical very fast. So if he suddenly needed surgery, or if he needed blood, that affects his life and his ability to function and to survive," Johnston said.

OBI is looking for anyone willing to donate blood. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CLICK HERE to learn how you can donate.

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