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OBI, national blood centers ask for donations as local blood supply decreases

Study looks into possibility of paying people to donate blood
Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 10:49:56-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Blood Institute joins other blood centers across the nation by asking for blood donations as the local blood supply needs immediate replenishment.

The local blood supply across the nation is being pushed to its limits by increased blood usage from hospitals with the lowest level of donations since the pandemic began last year.

OBI is also seeing a decline in donations and decreased levels of available blood. The non-profit usually has a three to five-day supply of blood available but isn't meeting those supplies now.

“As a nation, we’re experiencing a shortage of available blood,” said Dr. John Armitage, President and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “We’ve battled COVID for more than a year, but we could never have expected that these closing months of the pandemic would bring our most critical period of blood need. America is coming back to life, but we just don’t have a stable blood supply, locally or at a national level.”

Hospitals state-wide usage of various blood products has reached its peak in OBI's 44-year history, especially as patients return to trauma-related needs and routine medical care procedures.

Routine blood donations are also down due to donors' confusion about whether they qualify to donate before or after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

While vaccinations aren’t required to donate blood, those who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine can donate immediately, as long as they feel well. Each donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives.

Donors can make an appointment to donate at 877-340-8777 or

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