Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the sole supplier of blood and plasma to patients at more than 40 area hospitals, including Texas County Memorial Hospital, is issuing a critical appeal for all blood types.
Increased local usage and continued blood drive cancellations have combined to drop area reserves to less than one day levels for all blood types. Eligible donors are strongly urged to give immediately.
Most of the organization’s mobile blood drives for May have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 3,000 donations were lost last month due to similar circumstances. While a few mobile blood drives remain on the schedule, it remains vitally important to continue to see increased donation levels at CBCO’s four donor centers, it announced.
“During the month of April, blood donors at our fixed site locations gave enough to get us through the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “But hospital usage was down significantly during that time, and now we are really challenged as hospitals increase their blood needs. We are still experiencing multiple cancellations of previously scheduled drives this month and a critical shortage is looming.
“We have always been transparent in sharing our needs with the region. Our message now is simple and important. Area patients need blood now. We must do our part to help our friends and neighbors. Please help if you can and please give to the sole local provider of blood in the region.”
Appointments are strongly suggested so that social distancing guidelines can be maintained and for optimal donor flow. Donors may search for a drive coming to their area or make an appointment to give online at https://www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.
CBCO is actively seeking and scheduling emergency blood drives in areas not supported by a fixed site location. If you think you might have a suitable space to host a blood drive, either inside or on a CBCO bloodmobile, please contact the blood center at 417-227-5000.