Oklahoma Blood Institute Needs Donations

Tuesday, January 27th 2009, 2:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Winter storms cause obvious problems for everyone who has to get out and about.  But, when folks heed warnings and decide to stay in, that can lead to supply problems for organizations like the Oklahoma Blood Institute.  There were some hardy souls on Tuesday who looked at the storm as a chance.

Roads were a mess.  Many people just decide to stay home in bad weather.  But, that causes supply problems at places like the Oklahoma Blood Institute which counts on people coming in to give blood.

They say the reserve supply is running low and that makes folks like J. Alan Gibson even more important.

"It's just something I enjoy doing for someone else," said J. Alan Gibson.

He's been donating blood for 50 years he says.  He says his wife warned him about getting out in the bad weather, but he thought he could do it if he was careful.

EMSA tells The News On 6 that sometimes being careful just isn't enough.  They have been very busy with more than 60 slips and falls with nearly 50 transported to the hospital     

Suzi Boydsten over in Oklahoma City was heading out to get some ice melt from her shed when she slipped, fell, and broke her wrist.

Chris Stevens of EMSA says they slip on cleats to give them sure footing when they need it.  In severe situations they can be a life saver.

When OBI put out the word they needed some lifesavers in the form of blood donors, Vicki Horton decided that need was reason enough to brave the elements to drive from Mannford so she and a friend could donate.

"As long as you slow down and drive at a decent speed you're fine," said Vicki Horton.

EMSA recommends staying in or limiting outdoor activities until conditions improve, but if you feel safe, the Oklahoma Blood Institute could use your blood donation.  They'll be open all day Wednesday at 81st and Yale.

Officials said the institute has a shortage of O-type blood, both O positive and O negative.

Donors can schedule an appointment at any OBI site by calling (866) 341-8728, or look at a list of blood drives and donor centers.