Oklahoma Blood Institute is seeing worst blood shortage in decades, urges donations

Dana Branham

Blood supplies are dangerously low in Oklahoma, and donations are urgently needed to address a historic shortage, the Oklahoma Blood Institute said Tuesday. 

It's the worst shortage in decades, said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

"We're down to about one day's supply of blood on our shelf, which is highly unusual for us," Armitage said at a news conference Tuesday. "We like to have three to five days' supply. It's [the] worst in my career of 26 years in blood banking." 

There's been a drastic decrease in donations in recent weeks, according to the Oklahoma Blood Institute, which provides over 90% of Oklahoma’s blood supply to hospitals and other medical facilities.

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Blood centers nationwide also are facing shortages, which means blood can't be borrowed from other centers to make up for scarcity in local supply.

Armitage said the situation was so dire that if the area were to see a mass trauma event, "we don't have enough reserves to say with full confidence, everybody who needs (blood) will get it immediately." 

A person isn't required to get a COVID-19 vaccination to give blood, and there is no waiting period for someone to give blood after getting a COVID-19 shot. Donating blood typically takes about an hour. 

Donation centers are offering extended hours this week for people to donate: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.  

To find a donation center, go to or call 877-340-8777.

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