Oklahoma Blood Institutes To Launch Nation's First Emergency Blood Reserve

Thursday, September 9th 2021, 7:50 am
By: Colby Thelen


The blood supply across the nation is already dangerously low, and the Oklahoma Blood Institute said the pandemic has only increased scarcity. The center was forced to find a new way to meet demand in the case of a mass casualty event. 

On Thursday, the president and CEO, Dr. John Armitage, will join the State Commissioner of Health, Battalion Chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department, Director of Emergency Management and a representative of SSM Health St. Anthony in discussing how the new program will work. 

The OBI will also discuss the importance of blood sharing following a mass trauma event. 

Earlier this year, Dr. Armitage explained the state of the blood supply in Oklahoma saying, “The shortage is such now that if we had a mass trauma, we don't have enough supply to say with full confidence that everyone who needs blood will get some." 

Any healthy person over the age of 16 can donate, and yet less than 10 percent do so every year nationwide. 

In Oklahoma, OBI says that one donation could save 3 lives. The center provides blood to all 160 hospitals across the nation as well as medical facilities. 

The organization and its partners are expected to make the emergency reserve announcement at 10 a.m. on Thursday.