Red Cross Blood Shortage Prompts Urgent Call For Donations
TULSA, Oklahoma - There's a critical blood shortage here in Green Country.
News on 6 learned donations are down because of this month's dangerously cold temperatures and the spike in flu cases.
Jadon Dykes has been donating blood since 2009. He squeezes the red ball to keep blood flowing but says donating blood platelets isn't painful.
"You'll get really cold," he said.
That's because the blood pumped back in is 70 degrees.
“It's kind of a strange feeling too. You don't really notice in the vein but the anticoagulant that they use, it'll make your lips feel like they're vibrating sometimes and you'll get a weird taste in your mouth,” said Dykes. "By the time I'm done, I just helped three people with their cancer treatment."
The banker turned Broken Arrow Schools energy specialist says he had no idea his time could be so invaluable.
“Something inside me just kind of clicked and it made me feel like a superhero,” he said.
The American Red Cross's Jan Hale says the 16,000 donations that weren't collected this month are crippling their mission.
“You add that to about 28,000 fewer blood donations collected through from November to December, and that's a recipe for a blood shortage,” said Hale.
The donated blood can last more than a month, but platelets for cancer treatment have a shelf-life of just five days.
“My goal is to hit 100 gallons by 2025. I at least have that planned out,” said Dykes. “Once I hit that, I'll probably have a 200-gallon goal."
Nationwide 550 blood drives have been canceled this month alone.
That's a crippling number since the Red Cross says it's lost out on donations from 16,000 people. But, one Green Country man just made his 100th platelet donation and is hoping to inspire others to take action.
Dykes donations have already helped about 300 cancer patients.