Oklahoma Blood Institute Facing Critically Low Blood Supply

Thursday, April 22nd 2021, 9:56 pm
By: William Blanchette

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Blood Institute said it only has a one-day supply of blood right now, and critically needs donations.

They said they’re not alone as blood centers across the United States are experiencing this same issue.

Hillcrest Hospital Lab Medical Director, Sean Smith said it's been tough dealing with a low blood supply. He said this is due to the American Red Cross getting fewer donations than needed to meet demand.

Smith said having enough blood is crucial to saving lives.

“Trauma patients we see in the emergency room. Surgery patients that we see bleeding or needs blood,” Dr. Smith said.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has had a shortage of blood due to the pandemic.

Executive Director, Jan Laub said local blood supply typically operates at a three-day supply. Laub said because more people are returning to hospitals for appointments and surgeries, they only have about a one-day supply.

"That's created another gift from COVID that we are having to deal with,” Laub said.

It takes about 1,200 donors a day to handle the need from all of OBI's regional hospitals and facilities. Laub said the shortage can also be blamed on the misconception that you can't donate once you get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s fine to donate, as long as you feel good, you can donate once you have had the vaccine, in between the vaccine, so that has been the biggest challenge to get that message out,” Laub said.

As more businesses return to full capacity, OBI hopes they'll host more blood drives.

To find out how you can donate blood, click here.