Blood Donations Statewide Remain Steady Despite Rise In COVID-19 Cases


Saturday, January 9th 2021, 9:05 pm
By: William Blanchette


TULSA, Okla. -

As the pandemic forces the cancelation of blood drives, the Oklahoma Blood Institute said many in the state are still stepping up to donate.

Health experts said it’s an important part of the fight against COVID-19.

The fight is personal for Shannon Wilburn.

“I just decided to fight back of what this virus has taken,” Wilburn said.

Wilburn was a little afraid to give her convalescent plasma, but she said she’s choosing faith over fear.

“Being on the receiving end has made me have a different perspective, knowing that if people didn’t go before us and donate, Mitch wouldn’t be here today,” Wilburn said.

Shannon’s husband, Mitch, fought the virus for 48 days before he was finally able to leave the hospital.

“That was after two separate incubations and he flatlined one time,” Wilburn said.

Wilburn’s convalescent plasma can help save the lives of other patients battling COVID-19.

The FDA encourages those who have recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks to consider donating.

Even though COVID-19 cases have continued to rise, Oklahoma Blood Institute president and CEO John Armitage said blood and plasma supply has remained at a steady pace.

“The convalescent plasma is really good when given early, partially to older patients and we don’t want anyone delaying,” Armitage said. “Being the CEO of a blood center, I’m blessed to be part of a community that cares.”

Armitage said the current FDA regulations restrict those who have been vaccinated to donate plasma but believes that rule will change soon.

Wilburn hopes she’s inspired others to become donors.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute hopes people continue to step up. To find out how you can donate, click here.