Alert: Emergency Blood Shortage, Donors Critically Needed

June 22, 2021 – A nationwide blood shortage has reached Arkansas, as blood donations have reached emergency low levels. The shortage has been worsened by consistently high hospital usage, leaving blood centers around the nation short of all blood types heading into the upcoming July 4th holiday period.

The local blood supply is currently at a 1-2 day supply, well below the usual 4-5 day threshold Arkansas Blood Institute feels secure having on hand.

“In the past month, we’ve seen a dramatic drop in blood donations, an alarming development when we were already facing chronic shortfalls,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “The public is rightly enjoying the reawakening of social freedoms and a return to normalcy, but if celebrating this rebirth by giving blood does not immediately become a major part of people’s reopening activities, we are going to run out of blood for patients. Harm may well result for many of the sickest folks in our communities.”


Arkansas Blood Institute encourages all Arkansans, age 16 and older, to donate blood as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 1-877-340-8777 or find a blood drive near you.

Center hours have been extended, due to the severity of the situation. Donor centers will be open June 22-28 as follows: Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 6 pm; Saturday, 7:30 am – 4pm; Sunday 7:30 am – 2pm.

You can also stop by one of our donor centers in:
Fort Smith
Hot Springs
Little Rock
North Little Rock
Russellville


Volunteer donors with Arkansas Blood Institute exclusively provide every drop of blood needed for patients in 40 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide. One donation saves up to three lives. Arkansas Blood Institute depends on an average of 1,200 donors per day to meet the needs of patients in our state. These patients rely on blood to survive an emergency injury or illness, or for ongoing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases and conditions.


While COVID-19 vaccination is not required of blood donors, those who have been vaccinated can donate immediately, assuming they are feeling well.

Arkansas Blood Institute is the local, non-profit blood supplier, supporting the inventory for patients in more than 40 hospitals, medical facilities, and air ambulances statewide. For more information, visit arkbi.org.


*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. Photo ID required.

 

Bob Grant