Arkansas Blood Institute facing critical blood shortage

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Arkansas Blood Institute is reaching out to the public, calling for donors of all types, because of an emergency blood shortage.

A rare ice storm affecting neighboring Oklahoma has caused additional closures and cancellations, adding to the already critical issues of continuous blood drive cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant downturn in donations has been a result and has exhausted typical recruitment efforts.

Arkansas Blood Institute’s life-saving stock of blood has reached a less-than-one-day supply. Typically, Arkansas Blood Institute maintains a three- to five-day supply for local hospitals. One donation saves up to three lives. Arkansas Blood Institute depends on an average of 1,200 donors per day to meet the needs of patients in our state.

“COVID-19 has put tremendous strain on the blood supply for months, but this unseasonable inclement weather was the real catalyst for a blood emergency in our state,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “The need for blood is constant – someone needs a life-saving transfusion every two seconds. We are calling on all healthy Arkansans to take about an hour of their time to give blood for our friends and neighbors in need.”

All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies to identify potential convalescent plasma donors.* Blood drives will be managed according to CDC safety recommendations.

Arkansas Blood Institute encourages all Arkansans, age 16 and older, to donate blood as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit arkbi.org to see a list of donor centers and mobile blood drives.

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