FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) is urging blood donors to give immediately as its supply falls below 50%.
With ABI having less than half of the blood supply it needs, this threatens the chance of local patients getting the blood they need.
ABI says the national blood supply has stayed near emergency levels for months, having never recovered from COVID-related challenges. This comes after multiple severe weather events in the last few months caused blood drive cancellations.
According to ABI, hospital demand has surged past pre-pandemic levels, worsening the issues caused by fewer blood donations.
“All indicators are pointing us in a dangerous direction,” said Dr. John Armitage, president, and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Over the last several weeks, donation numbers have dipped, which have left us struggling to keep stock levels necessary to protect our community. We need donors to respond immediately to help friends and neighbors using blood.”
Due to the low blood supply, ABI has extended its hours of operation in hopes to receive more blood donations.
The donation hours are:
The Russellville donor center is closed Saturdays and open for platelet donations only on Sundays.
ABI says blood has no substitute and patients across the state rely on blood products to fight cancer, survive trauma, and heal after childbirth.
A blood donation takes approximately one hour and can save up to three lives.
“Nationally, we’ve not faced an ongoing blood shortage like this before,” Armitage said. “The pandemic created this crisis, and we are still caught with its damaging hangover effects. While the challenge is immense, so is the support of our donors, blood drive sponsors, and partners. Together, we must and will find a way.”
To find a location to donate blood, you can call (877)-340-8777, or click here.
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