Oklahoma Blood Institute In Need Of Blood Donations After Winter Storm

Friday, February 19th 2021, 6:40 am
By: Caleb Califano

This week's winter weather has caused an emergency shortage in life-saving blood donations.

Now the Oklahoma Blood Institute says the FDA is changing the rules to allow more people to give blood.

To put it into numbers, Wednesday the OBI collected 400 units of blood. Their usual numbers are 1100. So there is a deficit the OBI says they need to rebuild, and they say COVID-19 hasn't made it any easier.

"We want people to be safe traveling to our blood centers, and our blood drives. But we really need their help. We need help during the crisis and well after the crisis," said Dr. John Armitage from the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute says the FDA is loosening some rules that previously stopped some people from giving blood. This includes people who spent extended time in Europe during the Mad Cow Disease crisis.

Others in multiple categories only have to wait three months to donate now. The waiting period used to be 12 months. This list includes:

  1. Tattoos, ear piercings, and body piercings from unlicensed or unlisted facilities 
  2. Blood transfusions
  3. Accidental needle stick or splash for health care workers
  4. Travel to malarial-endemic areas