Oklahoma Blood Institute Needs Donations During Shortage

Sunday, December 14th 2014, 6:44 pm
By: News 9

Officials with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) said they are experiencing a shortage. As of Sunday, the OBI had less than a two-day supply of blood. The OBI needs volunteers with all kinds of blood to donate, but the 9 percent of people with O negative blood are needed even more. That's the universal kind of blood that can be given to anyone during emergencies.

Flight paramedics with MediFlight call the moments after a major traumatic event ‘the golden hour.' Medical experts said that window of time is critical to a patient's survival.

“We're giving it because they've got to have it now,” flight nurse paramedic, Kim Holmes said about donated blood. ”You've got to have this to make a difference.”

Unfortunately, Sissy Kiser knows that all too well. Her son was hunting and a gun accidentally discharged hitting Ty in the chest. “The next thing I knew, my door just came busting open and his friend just shouted out ‘Ty's been shot!'”

As soon as he got to the emergency room in Sulphur, he was given blood. Then he was taken by MediFlight to OU Medical, given even more blood in the air.

“Two units are carried on every flight that we go on,” said Dianne Gardner, a flight nurse paramedic.

Ty's mom Sissy said they don't remember a whole lot about the next 24 hours, except for what the doctors told her in the hospital. Sissy remembered the doctor told her, “I took your son's lung to save his life and right now, Ty has more of a chance of dying than living.”

But after emergency surgery and getting nearly 70 units of blood in just the first 24 hours, he lived. That blood helped him beat the odds. “It saved his life,” Sissy said.

So she made it her mission, to get others to donate. “We all get busy Christmas shopping and we really all kind of forget that we're just one phone call away from a life or death emergency,” she told News 9.

But you're just a donation away from helping up to three Oklahomans get what they need during that golden hour. “It's a minor inconvenience for the lives that it saves,” Sissy said.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute said donating blood only takes about an hour. And that donation will be given to one of 158 medical facilities in the state.

If you want to donate, News 9 and OETA are teaming up with the Oklahoma Blood Institute for a holiday blood drive. Join us at OETA Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One donor could win a $2,000 gift card, courtesy of Bank of Oklahoma.

Click here to sign up.