Oklahoma Blood Institute Trying To Pump Up Donations


Saturday, May 30th 2020, 5:44 pm
By: Brian Mueller


NORMAN, Okla. -

A tennis court is usually not where Bart Connor does his best work.

The two-time Olympic gold medal gymnast and Norman resident helped sponsor a blood drive by the Oklahoma Blood Institute Saturday at the Westwood Tennis Center.

“I think this is a fantastic opportunity to fill a huge void,” Connor said. “It’s a way of making a statement that we care about each other.”

The OBI estimates they lost a month’s worth of blood in a two-month period when blood drives dried up. Two out of every three mobile drives were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The OBI said it normally has a three to four-day supply of blood on hand in case of emergencies. Right now, they’re working on a one to two-day supply.

As the city of Norman entered Phase 2 recently, the state enters Phase 3 on Monday.

More people on the roads for work and summer travel will likely lead to more accidents.

“Summertime, we always face a need for blood, and this is especially critical now because we’ve not had the blood donations that we normally would have during the time leading up into summer,” OBI marketing manager Heather Browne said.

The blood drive in Norman is for anyone 16 and older. Precautions are in place and it’s by appointment only.

Another incentive to get pumping is a free antibody test to anyone 18 or older who gives blood.

The drive will continue between noon and 5 p.m. Sunday. 

You can sign up until midnight Saturday by clicking here.