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Oklahoma blood shortage affecting hospitals and medical centers

Posted at 4:52 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 15:11:27-04

TULSA, Okla. — COVID-19 continues to cause trouble as area hospitals and medical facilities face a blood shortage.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute said they supply 90 percent of the blood for Oklahoma hospitals.

To do that, they need 1,200 donors a day, which they have been able to supply, until now.

They said it's because COVID-19 patients, and those in critical care, have been the priority in hospitals everywhere for the last few months. That means general surgeries, and other healthcare needs were postponed.

However, now that those surgeries and appointments are back on track, there is more need for blood in hospitals, which is one reason for the shortage.

The other reason, 30 percent of OBI's blood supply comes from the education system, medical students, schools, colleges and more hosting blood drives.

Which is a problem, because many schools are online and many more could follow suit.

OBI will take a hit, said Executive Director Jan Laub, but she wants to encourage anyone beginning at age 16 to donate if they can.

“Anyone 16 years old or older and is healthy can donate," Laub said. "You have to be at least 125 pounds. If your 18 or older you can be 110 pounds.

If you would like to donate or learn more click here.

To find a blood donation location near you click here.

If you'd like to volunteer click here.

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