Oklahoma's blood supply is dangerously low, according to the Oklahoma Blood Institute Tulsa.
Executive Director, Jan Laub, said blood donations typically drop in the winter, but the recent winter storm heightened an already critical need.
Laub said several appointments and blood drives were cancelled across the state due to the weather. With donations already down, it has brought them well below the four-to-five-day blood supply that is needed.
Laub added they need 1,200 donors to roll up their sleeves each day to ensure an ample supply.
"People do not just need blood when there is an emergency, a traffic accident, or a shooting," Laub continued saying, "They need it for that, you have to have blood on the shelf, but we also need blood for people that are on chemotherapy and need platelets or just a maintenance for blood products."
Laub said they provide over 90% of the hospitals blood supply in Oklahoma.
John Carstens is a regular blood donor in Tulsa and said the process is simple and painless. When asked why he started giving Carstens simply said, "I have the blood and they need it, so why not?"
He also added, "Whether they have a critical need or a minimal need it is still a good thing to do and there will always be people who need the medicines they make from platelets and from the different elements they can harvest here."
The Oklahoma Blood Institute is offering incentives this week to hopefully get those numbers up. Those who donate Thursday, January 26 will get their choice of a winter hat, gloves, or an ice scraper as well as a t-shirt. Donors who give on Friday and Saturday will receive a $10 gift card for a car wash.
Laub said donating takes about an hour and can save up to three lives. To make an appointment call 877-340-8777 or visit https://obi.org.
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