Wanted: Blood donors to replenish short supply - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Wanted: Blood donors to replenish short supply

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Jesse Allen says he's been donating blood since the 1980s. (KTEN) Jesse Allen says he's been donating blood since the 1980s. (KTEN)
The Oklahoma Blood Institute says all types of blood are in short supply. (KTEN) The Oklahoma Blood Institute says all types of blood are in short supply. (KTEN)
The Oklahoma Blood Institute says its supply of the most-needed blood type is critically low. (KTEN) The Oklahoma Blood Institute says its supply of the most-needed blood type is critically low. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Jesse Allen is one of the 38 percent of people who have O-negative blood. He says he's donated regularly since the late 1980s.

"I give because the blood type that I have ... they can give to babies and cancer patients, and I like to do that," he said.

Employees at the Oklahoma Blood Institute say it's typical to see declining donation rates at this time of year. Now, the OBI has less than a one-day supply of O-negative blood.

"As you know, O-negative is the universal donor, and the universal recipient as well," said OBI executive director Susan Crews.

O-negative is a staple aboard medical helicopters and in ambulances because it is safe for anyone who needs it.

"When we get down to less than one day of blood supply, it gets a little scary," Crews said. "You can equate that to being less than a one day of supply of gas, and what they would feel like and what kind of panic that would cause."

The Oklahoma Blood Institute reached out to KTEN to get the word out about the shortage. They're urging anyone who can to take time to give.

"We are experiencing low blood donations across the board, so it's not just O-negative," Crews said. "All blood types are really needed."

You don't get money for donating blood, but there is one important intangible.

"I feel good about myself, and maybe I can help somebody," Jesse Allen said. 

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has donor centers in Ada at 1930 Stonecipher Boulevard and in Ardmore at 1420 Veterans Boulevard.

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