Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the exclusive provider of blood for patients at 44 area healthcare facilities, has a critical need for O Negative blood. Reserves are alarmingly low, due in part to a sharp increase in hospital usage over the past several months. Although COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out, there is a continued negative impact on donation rates at CBCO blood drives. Eligible O Negative donors are strongly urged to give immediately at a CBCO donor center or blood drive near them.
Over the past four months, hospital blood transfusion rates have increased more than 16% during the same time last year, and 11% above usage rates from two years ago. Last month, transfusion totals were the highest they have been for any March since 2015.
“When we see usage rates rise, you can bet that O Negative blood will be one of the types that sees a strong rise, as well,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “That is because of the universal nature of O Negative blood. It can be given under any circumstance, regardless of a recipient’s blood type. It is a vital component of the well-being of our community. We need O Negative blood donors that are eligible to help us meet this increasing demand.”
People who have received a COVID-19 vaccination may donate blood with no waiting period. They must meet the basic eligibility requirements of being at least 16 years old, weighing at least 110 pounds and be feeling well and healthy at the time of donation.
Successful donors who give now at all CBCO donor centers and mobile blood drives will receive a navy blue T-shirt that tells others how proud you are to be a “locally sourced” lifesaver.
Donors can give at one of four CBCO donor centers located in Springfield, Joplin, Springdale, Ark., or Bentonville, Ark. There are also opportunities to give at mobile blood drives across the Ozarks. To find a blood drive coming to your area or to make an appointment to give, go to www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.
On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.