Arkansas Blood Institute to Collect Convalescent Plasma to Aid Local COVID-19 Patients

April 5, 2020 (LITTLE ROCK) – Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) will collect convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19, part of an experimental initiative to use the product to treat seriously ill patients.

By creating a registry of available patients, Arkansas Blood Institute can ensure local patients receive the donated products and have the best possible chance at fighting the illness.

“We’re excited to play our part in ensuring patients have access to all treatment options, including convalescent plasma,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “As the local community blood supplier, we can quickly collect donor information and work with our hospital partners to ensure anyone who wants to help a neighbor has that opportunity.”

Donors are encouraged to sign up for the registry at my.bio-linked.org. Bio-Linked allows users to submit confidential health and social information via a secure site and to list themselves as potential volunteers for medical research. Once qualified, plasma will be drawn, with each donor providing up to three therapeutic plasma doses.

    To provide convalescent plasma, donors must be eligible to donate blood and meet the criteria below:
  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
  • Present negative results for COVID-19, either from nasal swabs or a molecular (RNA or nucleic acid) diagnostic blood test
  • Symptom-free for 14 days prior to donation
  • If female, either no history of pregnancy or negative for HLA (tissue typing) antibodies

Complete information on donor eligibility from the FDA is available here.

“In this time of need, we must all unite to fight against this pandemic threat,” Armitage said. “At Arkansas Blood Institute, we’re proud to continue our role as a leading provider of public health services and cutting-edge care for our state’s patients.”

 

COVID-19: Arkansas Blood Institute Urges Donations Amid Concerns

Blood donation can’t wait.

Blood donation is safe and critically important, despite concerns surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19). Arkansas Blood Institute is, as always, committed to safety for our donors, patients, and communities, and we urge you to keep your scheduled appointments and continue to donate blood.


News: Arkansas Blood Institute to Collect Convalescent Plasma to Aid Local COVID-19 Patients

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports no cases of COVID-19 transmitted through blood transfusion, and respiratory viruses generally are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion.

“We need people to start turning out in force to give blood,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA.

Find a blood drive.

Arkansas Blood Institute is following recommendations and guidelines set forth by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks). Arkansas Blood Institute is committed to maintaining the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion. Our donor centers and blood drives practice rigorous safety and cleanliness standards. As Arkansas Blood Institute monitors this rapidly developing situation, we will immediately inform the community about any changes in procedures or processes.

Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor centers and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. In addition, phlebotomy and donor services staff will wear masks and donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adapted to allow for social distancing. All staff and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility, to ensure only healthy individuals are present. We are limiting the number of donors in the donor area, to allow for social distancing. If the donor area is full, please give us your cell phone number and we will call you when you’re ready to enter.

In an abundance of caution, we ask that donors refrain from giving blood until a later time if, in the past 28 days, they have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having COVID-19; cared for, lived with, or had close contact with individuals diagnosed with COVID-19; or who traveled to areas with high rates of infection as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.

“Although COVID-19 is a new virus and more research is needed on how it spreads, current strategies for preventing and minimizing acute respiratory illnesses – including COVID-19 and the seasonal flu – remain relevant and timely,” said Tuan Le, M.D., chief medical officer of Arkansas Blood Institute.

Dr. Le stresses:

  • Practice cough & sneeze etiquette
  • Stay home when sick
  • Clean hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face after touching surfaces

As COVID-19 and resulting concerns continue to spread, additional challenges to the blood supply have occurred, including canceled and postponed blood drives. Arkansas Blood Institute depends on 1,200 donors per day to support the inventory needed for patients in more than 40 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide and across the region.  

“Blood is a perishable product and we need constant donations not only to meet our community needs, but in case of local and national emergencies,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “We urge healthy adults to continue their regular blood donations so the lifesaving supply can be maintained for our local patients who depend on blood products during treatment for cancer, traumatic injuries and other life-threatening conditions.”


“During routine blood donation screening, we ask donors if they are feeling well and healthy at the time of their donation,” said Dr. Le. “We always ask that donors who are not feeling well refrain from giving blood until they’re healthy.”

Blood donation typically takes only about an hour, and one donation saves up to three lives. Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or clicking here or visiting a donor center listed below:

Fort Smith
Hot Springs
Little Rock
North Little Rock
Russellville

*To give blood, 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

We're committed to your safety. We've instituted additional cleaning efforts, using EPA-approved cleaning solutions in high-touch, high-traffic areas. We take the temperaturs of all staff and donors entering any donation area to ensure they don't have a fever. Donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adjusted to allow space for social distancing.















Follow Arkansas Blood Institute’s social media platforms for developments on the situation:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that originated in China in December 2019. The illness causes symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath, but can be severe in some at-risk populations.

How do I keep from getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 is generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets like the common flu, so observing everyday preventative actions for respiratory diseases is critical: stay home if you’re sick, practice good sneeze/cough etiquette, wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Will I be safe while donating blood?

Yes. Although we collect blood and blood products, we’re not a medical facility and ask only healthy donors to visit these locations to donate.

Is COVID-19 dangerous for blood donors?

No, the CDC has found no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through the blood or blood donations.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through blood donation?

No, the CDC has found no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted either through a blood exposure or a blood donation. In similar respiratory illness outbreaks like SARS or MERS, no evidence of transmissions through blood products was seen.

Do you screen blood for COVID-19?

We don’t test for this illness, as the FDA has no approved screening test for blood donors and the illness is not shown to be transmitted through blood. Our testing laboratory is on the forefront of technology and conducts more than a dozen tests on each sample to ensure its safety.

Do you have safety procedures in place for your donor centers and blood drives?

Our operating procedures meet strict FDA regulations and OSHA standards to ensure workplace safety. We encourage all staff, volunteers and donors to take routine preventative actions – as recommended by the CDC – to help prevent the spread of acute respiratory illnesses, like the seasonal flu and COVID-19. We've added additional cleaning procedures, shifted our donation areas to allow for social distancing and are taking the temperatures of each donor and employee who enter our donor areas to ensure they’re feeling well.

Should donors wait to donate blood because of COVID-19?

No, please donate blood or platelets as you’re able. Blood is a perishable product that requires continual donations to ensure a healthy supply.

What is the organization doing about COVID-19?

Your Blood Institute’s executive management and medical staff have been monitoring the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 since the first reported case in December 2019. We have been using resources within our blood organization’s networks of BCA (Blood Centers of America), ABC (America’s Blood Centers), and AABB (formerly American Associations of Blood Banks). In addition, we have been monitoring situation reports from the CDC and WHO, along with updates from the state public health departments in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas to track the local, regional, and national developments of COVID-19.

Who do I call if I have questions about the coronavirus or blood donation?

If you have questions about COVID-19 or the state’s response, please contact the Arkansas Department of Health by calling 800-803-7847, or for concerns involving children call 800-743-3616. If donors have questions about their planned blood donation, please contact our customer service line at 877-340-8777.

Has anything like this ever happened before? What were the results?

In the past, acute respiratory illness outbreaks like SARS (2002), H1N1 flu (2009), and MERS (2012) were contained due to prevention measures, public health interventions, medical detection, isolation and care of patients. In these outbreaks, no evidence was seen of blood transmission by the viruses. COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus, so research is ongoing into this virus’s specific transmission and effects in humans.

Are you observing social distancing?

Donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adjusted to allow space for social distancing. On bloodmobiles, staff are placing donors to allow for maximum distance between visitors. In addition, we strongly encourage appointments to be made to help us manage how many donors are present at one time. Donors can also wait in their vehicles after checking in with staff, if they prefer.

How are you making sure staff and donors are healthy?

As always, we ask only healthy staff and donors to come to our centers and mobile units. In addition, we screen all donor services staff at the beginning of their shift, taking temperatures to ensure no one has a fever or feels ill. All donors will also have their temperature taken before entering the blood donor area, so only healthy donors enter. Our donor services and phlebotomy staff are also wearing masks and donors are welcome to wear their own masks or facial coverings.

Should we be donating blood right now?

Yes! Donating blood is an essential health care activity and is critical to avoiding a blood supply crisis. For those wanting to help but don’t know where to start, donating blood is a safe and easy way to protect our communities in a time of need. As U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said, “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.”

Arkansas Blood Institute Pioneers First-of-its-Kind Donor Recognition Program

LITTLE ROCK, Aug. 2, 2018 – Whether given or received, words of gratitude can be powerful.

To harness the power of a simple “thank you,” Arkansas Blood Institute has pioneered Thank-The-Donor™, the nation’s first web-enabled technology that connects blood recipients with their donors while complying with medical privacy laws.

With this patent-pending technology, patients can send a note, photo or video to their donor using a smartphone, tablet or computer. The groundbreaking program breaks communication barriers with a new and different way to share a “thank you” while protecting the anonymity of both donor and patient. 

“Few patients who receive donated blood ever know or have the opportunity to offer their gratitude with their blood donors,” said John Armitage, M.D. president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute.  “Thank-The-Donor™ conveniently facilitates uplifting connectedness between a blood donor and recipient.”

Baptist Health in Little Rock was one of the first hospitals to launch the program earlier this year.  Now, a green, heart-shaped tag is affixed to every blood bag from Arkansas Blood Institute, encouraging recipients or their families to visit ThankTheDonor.org.

“Every three minutes in Arkansas an ill or injured patient requires a blood transfusion,” said Dr. Armitage. “Every drop of blood we provide comes from volunteer donations. Thousands of selfless Arkansans give this gift of life every year. While they don’t do it for the recognition, we hope this program will help show our donors just how special their donation is for the patient who receives it.”

Patients who receive blood products like red cells, plasma and platelets can use the Thank-The-Donor™ technology to express their appreciation to their donor.  Ben Evans needed blood from more than 40 donors during a life-threatening health crisis that left him hospitalized for 60 days.  He takes every opportunity he can to thank his blood donors for their priceless gift.

“Without those blood products, I wouldn’t have made it.  42 units of blood means a lot of people took an hour out of their day to help a complete stranger,” said Evans.  “I have had the opportunity to give blood twice since receiving it as my way of paying back those that gave me the chance at life—by ‘Paying it Forward’.”

Arkansas Blood Institute is part of the sixth largest nonprofit blood collector in the United States, serving more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities in Arkansas.

To learn more about Thank-The-Donor™, please go to ThankTheDonor.org.

 

Global Blood Fund Receives $25,000 Donation to Fight Bleeding Deaths

April 30, 2018-  Global Blood Fund (GBF), a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2008 with support from Arkansas Blood Institute received a generous $25,000 donation from Terumo BCT to combat the world transfusion crisis. 

Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is committed to advancing blood safety throughout the world.

The donated funds will be utilized for various projects to improve transfusion care in emergent nations.  Among its programs, GBF re-homes donated blood banking equipment, delivers and sponsors training programs, and supports efforts to reduce the stark inequalities in access to safe blood that exist between higher- and lower-income countries.

“We are very grateful to Terumo BCT for its leadership in supporting better transfusion care for the majority of people across the globe who cannot be assured that blood will be available for them when it is needed,” said John Armitage, M.D., CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute and Chair of GBF. “This gift will help fight the annual deaths of hundreds of thousands of women hemorrhaging during childbirth and young children under age five succumbing to malaria, injuries, other afflictions.”

Since its inception in 2008, GBF has supported transfusion-related initiatives in more than 40 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.  In 2017, the value of equipment donated approached $2 million and included multiple bloodmobiles sent to Africa and Mexico. Other recent endeavors include pan-African donor management workshops run in collaboration with the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) and the opening of a rural blood bank in Laos.

“Terumo BCT and the Global Blood Fund share a commitment to serving patients by unlocking the potential of blood across the globe,” said Michael Lees, Terumo BCT, Vice President, Commercial, North America. “We are honored to support GBF’s work serving those patients most in need, in parts of the world that are still developing their blood transfusion capabilities across Africa, Latin America and Asia. Terumo BCT is proud to support GBF’s work to directly improve patient’s access to safe blood around the world.”

The Global Blood Fund is a US and UK registered non-profit with a mission to improve the safety and availability of transfusion care in resource-poor communities worldwide.  Since 2008 it has provided equipment and training to build donor recruitment and collection capacity so that blood can save lives wherever and whenever it is needed.  Please visit globalbloodfund.org for further details.

Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. Learn more at terumobct.com.

Arkansas Blood Institute Issues Urgent Call for Donors

February 22, 2018 – Winter weather that battered neighboring Oklahoma this week is critically impacting the supply of life-saving blood. Arkansas Blood Institute is asking donors of all blood types to give blood as soon as they can to help our friends in Oklahoma.*

“The urgency for patients is going to continue for the next several days until our inventory rebounds,” said Dr. John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute.  “We know we can rely on our donors who have the reputation of having a heart for helping neighbors in need.”

Due to the urgency of the situation, Arkansas Blood Institute has extended its hours at its donor centers in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Hot Springs.  The centers will be open until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 and until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.  Donors can also give at any mobile drive.  Search for drives in your area by clicking here. 

As a non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute’s volunteer donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 40 hospitals statewide.

Appointments are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or clicking here.

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Flu Epidemic Impacting Blood Supply, Healthy Blood Donors Needed Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ─  The flu epidemic affecting Arkansas is negatively impacting the blood supply.  Because so many of our regular donors are ill, or taking care of sick family members, they’ve been unable to give blood.  Additionally, the widespread flu is forcing some school closures, and parents are unable to keep their blood donation appointments.  All of this puts even more strain on the blood supply.

Arkansas Blood Institute is urging all healthy adults, ages sixteen and up*, to give blood.  Blood donors who have been diagnosed with flu should wait seven days since their last symptoms to give blood.  Donors may give blood the same day they receive a flu vaccine.

Beginning February 1st, all Arkansas Blood Institute blood donors will receive their choice of a new, trendy t-shirt in one of three featured colors, “Strong” olive, “Bold” maroon, or “Fearless” teal. 

“The flu has hit our state particularly hard, but the need for blood remains constant, and there is no substitute,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “That’s why we are calling on all donors who are able to give blood, or those who have never given before, to stop by one of our donor centers or mobile blood drives.  If you have recovered from the flu, or been unaffected by it, we urge you to use your good health to save lives today.”

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do.  Blood donation takes only about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. 

As part of the nation’s 9th largest non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute serves more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities statewide.  Appointments to give blood aren’t required but can be made by calling 877.340.8777 or clicking here to schedule online.

Be sure to like and follow Arkansas Blood Institute on Facebook for more information on the flu and blood donation:

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

 

Paulette Nieuwenhof Inducted As Honorary Commander of Little Rock Air Force Base

January 22, 2018 - Paulette Nieuwenhof, Executive Director of Arkansas Blood Institute, was recently inducted as an honorary commander of the Little Rock Air Force Base.  She has been assigned as the 314th Airlift Wing Honorary Vice Commander and has been partnered with Colonel John M. Schutte.  Nieuwenhof was inducted during a ceremony on January 4, 2018.

The Team Little Rock Honorary Commanders Program is designed to maintain close working partnerships with the base’s civilian neighbors in order to increase public awareness and understanding of the base mission, policies and other programs. To do this, base leadership is partnered with civic leaders from the surrounding community.

Civilian participants are nominated from a cross-section of community businesses and organizations. Nominees are selected because their position or influence in the community can positively impact public support for the base.  Arkansas Blood Institute holds frequent, successful blood drives with the Little Rock Air Force Base, to serve blood needs in the region.

“I’m looking forward to serving as an Honorary Vice Commander of the 314th Airlift Wing. This is an opportunity for me to learn more about the men and women of the Little Rock Air Force Base,” said Nieuwenhof. “It’s an honor to partner with my unit commander, Colonel Schutte, and to create an alliance that will benefit the local community and the state.”

Arkansas Blood Institute, part of the 9th largest non-profit blood center in the United States, serves more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities statewide, including UAMS, CHI St. Vincent, and Baptist Health Medical Center in Central Arkansas.  Blood donor centers are located in Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Fort Smith. In addition, donor centers in Russellville and North Little Rock previously operated by American Red Cross, will open February 19, as Arkansas Blood Institute.

Arkansas Blood Institute Now Serving All of Central Arkansas

Little Rock, AR, January 2, 2018—Arkansas Blood Institute and the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks- Arkansas Region have formed an operational alignment to serve the blood donors and blood drive sponsors of Central Arkansas.  Effective January 1, 2018, the Red Cross discontinued blood collections in Central Arkansas, and transferred its Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Russellville based blood recruitment and collections activities to Arkansas Blood Institute. 

Both Arkansas Blood Institute and the Red Cross believe this collaborative solution will best serve patient needs in Central Arkansas by more efficiently and effectively utilizing blood center and community resources.  Arkansas Blood Institute, with the support of the Red Cross, is committed to continuing reliable blood collections in Central Arkansas. 

“Arkansas Blood Institute is focused on the needs of the patients and donors we serve in the Central Arkansas region,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “This cooperative effort will ensure a robust supply of blood for area hospitals.”

“Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and we urge donors in Central Arkansas to continue giving for patients in need,” said Rich Feliciano, Red Cross vice president of Business, Development and Integration. “As this transition moves forward in the new year, Arkansas Blood Institute has the full support of the Red Cross. Our collective goal is to ensure donors, sponsors and volunteers continue to serve their community.”

In Central Arkansas, donors who currently give the gift of life with the Red Cross are asked to give blood at Arkansas Blood Institute drives beginning January 2, 2018.  The following changes will take effect on that date:

•      Red Cross blood donor centers in Russellville and North Little Rock will operate as Arkansas Blood Institute donor centers, and open to the public in mid-February of 2018.
•      Red Cross blood collection services at the Little Rock location will transfer to the Arkansas Blood Institute donor center at the corner of Markham and Shackleford, which is now open Monday through Saturday to serve donors’ needs.
•      Red Cross requests that all organizations which currently host blood drives transition their life-saving efforts to Arkansas Blood Institute on the same timeline.

The Red Cross will maintain its Greater Ozarks- Arkansas Blood Region collection operations in the north and northeastern part of Arkansas, as well as in southwestern Missouri. The Red Cross continues to collect blood and platelet donations at its donor centers in Mountain Home and Jonesboro.

The changes in blood services will not affect the ongoing commitment of the Red Cross to serve Central Arkansas during times of personal and natural disaster.  Disaster services, services to military members, veterans and their families, and health and safety education programs will continue to be offered through the Red Cross chapter in Central Arkansas as always.

Arkansas Blood Institute, part of the 9th largest non-profit blood center in the United States, has operated blood donation centers in Fort Smith and Hot Springs since 1958.  Its Little Rock donor center opened in October 2015.  As the leading blood provider in Central Arkansas, Arkansas Blood Institute serves Baptist Health Medical Center, CHI St. Vincent, Arkansas Heart Hospital and all other major hospitals in Little Rock.

To donate blood or to set up a blood drive, donors or organizations may contact Arkansas Blood Institute at 1-877-340-8777 or visit arkbi.org.

Unprecedented Flooding, Hurricane Harvey Prompt Immediate Need for Blood Donors

(Updated) August 28, 2017 ─ Catastrophic flooding in Houston and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are prompting Arkansas Blood Institute to issue an immediate call for blood donors of all blood types.  Blood centers in Houston and other affected areas are unable to collect blood, and Arkansas Blood Institute is taking part in the nationwide relief effort to help shore up the life-saving blood supply.

Arkansas Blood Institute has already sent 300 units of blood and 25 units of platelets to areas affected by flooding, and has been asked to provide 400 more units this week.  This can only be done if generous donors step up and become part of the disaster response. A major problem blood centers in Southeast Texas are facing is transporting blood to hospitals.  Arkansas Blood Institute is working with a Dallas-based blood center to help transport the blood to hospitals and patients who need it.

“Blood centers affected by this disaster could be shut down for days or weeks,” said John Armitage, M.D., President and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Arkansas Blood Institute is ready to help our neighbors dealing with this unprecedented flooding in Houston, and we know that we can count on our donors to make the commitment to give blood or platelets.”

Donors can give blood at Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor centers in Fort Smith at 5300 S. U Street; in Little Rock at 101 S. Shackleford Rd.; in Hot Springs at 149 Section Line Road, or at any mobile blood drive.

Arkansas Blood Institute is joining blood centers across the U.S. in the flood relief efforts, as part of AABB’s Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, which ensures safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters and assesses the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur.

Arkansas Blood Institute is part of the 9th largest, non-profit blood center in the United States.  It relies solely on volunteer blood donors each day to serve more than 30 hospitals and medical facilities statewide. 

Appointments to give blood aren’t required but can be made by calling 877.340.8777 or booking online.

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

WEATHER ALERT- Tropical Storm Cindy: Arkansas Blood Institute Assists With Blood Need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2017 ─ As Tropical Storm Cindy threatens millions of people throughout the Gulf Coast, Arkansas Blood Institute is answering a call for additional life-saving blood from centers that service the areas threatened by this powerful storm.

Arkansas Blood Institute immediately shipped more than 300 total units of blood to blood centers that serve New Orleans, other areas of Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast region in Texas.  The majority of the blood was sent to New Orleans, for critical needs in case of medical emergencies during the storm.

“It is not unusual for the Arkansas Blood Institute to be contacted when there are natural disasters in our country,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Because of the generosity of our own blood donors, we can provide blood to our neighbors when it’s needed.”

Arkansas Blood Institute depends solely on volunteer blood donors to serve more than 30 hospitals across the state, including all major hospitals in Little Rock.

Anyone age 16 and older, and in generally good health, can typically give blood.* To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 1-877-340-8777, or visit arkbi.org. Walk-ins are always welcome.

*16 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds
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Bob Grant