Springfield, Mo. -- (2/12/2018) With schools closed due to another round of winter weather and local blood needs at their highest level since 2015, officials at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks have issued a Code Red emergency appeal for blood.
The blood drives planned today at Kickapoo and Republic High Schools were supposed to help rebuild the already critically low blood supply, but the third round of weather-related school cancellations this year has left inventories of most blood types at emergency levels.
“The combination of high utilization and lower donor response has taken a toll on our reserves,” David Montgomery, Senior Director of Donor Recruitment said. “We haven’t seen the flu season have this kind of impact in many years and the blood drive cancellations today represent another two-hundred unit loss. We urge those who are healthy and able to make it to a CBCO donor center or blood drive to do so this week. If you haven’t given blood before, now is a great time to start a new habit. In just an hour, you can help save a life.”
Blood donations dropped by more than 500 units in January while local hospital usage increased sharply, prompting chronic shortages throughout most of the past month. Blood center officials attribute much of the decline in donations to the severe flu epidemic throughout the Ozarks, along with weather-related cancellations.
There are four CBCO Donor Centers in the Ozarks, along with mobile blood drives that take place in various towns within the 39 county CBCO service area. CBCO Donor Centers include Springfield, Joplin, Bentonville and Springdale.
Go to www.cbco.org to find a blood drive coming to your community.