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Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the exclusive provider of blood for patients at 44 area healthcare facilities, including Texas County Memorial Hospital, announced a state of emergency for type O Negative blood.
Reserves are dangerously low, with less than a one-day supply available. Eligible donors are asked to give immediately at a CBCO blood drive or donor center.
“We are used to seeing our blood reserves fluctuate, but this latest dip in O Negative numbers has us alarmed,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “Hospital transfusion numbers are the highest we have seen in years, and when you combine that with the lower-than-usual donation rates we have had over the past couple of weeks, it creates a very difficult situation. What we need right now is a dedicated donor response to give to our true local provider. Your friends and neighbors need your help right now.”
“In the not so recent past, we had a safety net to seek the help of other independent blood centers in case our donations did not live up to our projections. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities to source blood from other areas of the country are virtually non-existent. It is vital for the health of our community to have a robust reserve. We are calling on all eligible donors to give this week if they are able.”
Although O Negative is the type most at risk in this instance, blood reserves are at less-than-optimal levels across all blood types.
People who have received a COVID-19 vaccination may donate blood with no waiting period. They must meet the basic eligibility requirements of being at least 16 years old, weighing at least 110 pounds and feeling well and healthy at the time of donation.
Donors can give at one of four CBCO donor centers located in Springfield, Joplin, Springdale, Ark., or Bentonville, Ark. There are also opportunities to give at mobile blood drives across the Ozarks. CBCO follows community protocols regarding COVID-19.
To find a blood drive coming to your area or to make an appointment to give, go to www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.
Opportunities to give in Texas County
11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Oct. 1, at Licking High School
Noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 8, at First Christian Church, Houston
9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Oct. 19, at Summersville High School
11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Oct. 21, at South Central Correctional Center, Licking