Our Blood Institute urging Arkansans to donate amid blood shortage

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A struggling blood supply in Arkansas is getting to critically low levels.

With winter weather taking root throughout the state this week, Our Blood Institute has declared an emergency blood shortage due to delayed blood drives and canceled appointments.

Officials said that the blood shortage has the potential to impact hospitals and patients who are in need.

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Our Blood Institute is asking donors to reschedule appointments and donate as soon as the winter weather clears.

Organizers said OBI currently only has a 1-to-2-day supply of blood, which is well below the safe stock level. They said OBI is sending out more blood to hospitals than they are bringing in from donors.

OBI is the sole provider of blood in the central Arkansas and Fort Smith areas.

Our Blood Institute president and CEO Dr. John Armitage said that the winter weather is only magnifying the problem.

“Since the start of the year, blood donations are lagging significantly, and fewer people are donating. We urgently ask the public to step up and help secure their community blood supply.” Armitage said.

Blood can be donated every 56 days, with platelets donated as often as every seven days, up to 24 times a year.

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Donors can receive a short-sleeved, glow-in-the-dark “When I’m Not Hibernating, I’m Donating Blood” T-shirt.

Anyone healthy person who is 16 years old or older can give blood.

Appointments to donate can be made online at OBI.org or by calling 877-340-8777. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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