A blood drive is Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Houston High School.

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Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the sole supplier of blood products to 44 area healthcare facilities, including Texas County Memorial Hospital, is calling on eligible blood donors to give to help refill blood reserve levels, which dropped sharply during a severe winter storm last week.

A mobile drive is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Houston High School.

Virtually all scheduled blood drives were wiped out due to the recent major snow storm. Donor centers in Joplin, Springdale and Bentonville were closed late last week as well. More than 500 blood donations were lost due to the cancellations.

“While we did experience significant losses last week, our blood reserve levels were adequate in keeping up with local hospital demand,” CBCO Media Relations Representative Chris Pilgrim said. “Events like last week’s storm help to illustrate the importance of having those reserves on hand. Without them, last week would have been a very different story from the perspective of blood availability. We are calling on eligible blood donors to give this week at a CBCO blood drive or donor center to help us build those reserves back up to acceptable levels.”

Blood usage in Ozarks area hospitals remains high. January’s transfusion numbers were the highest that have been seen in three years. “Blood usage doesn’t stop when major weather events like this occur,” Pilgrim said. “It still takes around 200 donations each day to fulfill local needs. If you are eligible, please consider giving this week. There are dozens of opportunities to save lives all across the Ozarks.”

Successful donors will receive a long sleeved, quarter-zip CBCO pullover as a thank you, while supplies last.

Find a blood drive and make an appointment to give at https://www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.

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