Local donors urged to give blood this week

JOPLIN, Mo. - Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is asking local blood donors to help respond to the emerging need for blood in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Officials from the hardest hit areas have issued an appeal for support due to the impact that flooding has had on their ability to collect and process blood in the wake of the storm. More than 2,500 units have already been requested, with an emphasis on type O due to its universal application in emergency response.

“This is an unprecedented storm impacting a huge geographic area,” said CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts. “Transportation of badly needed blood products into Houston and Corpus Christi has been severely hampered. It is likely that the need will continue through the week and I’m confident Ozarks area donors will roll up their sleeves to help. We’re asking our local donors to give now to help us assist with the ongoing emergency response.”

CBCO will ship 50 units of blood later this morning through emergency depots located in Dallas and Austin. Local officials emphasize that blood donations are urgently needed to maintain reserves for continued response. The agencies located in Houston and Corpus Christi expect shortages to persist for the remainder of the week due to the heavy rains that have accompanied the storm, resulting in widespread blood drive cancellations.

CBCO is a member of America’s Blood Centers (ABC), a network of independent blood centers that supply blood and blood products to over 4,200 hospitals across North America. ABC members subscribe to a community-based blood banking philosophy, dedicated to ensuring a strong local blood supply through community support and member blood center assistance when local supply is disrupted.

For more information on how you can assist with the blood supply recovery, visit CBCO’s website at cbco.org or call (800) 280-5337. Community Blood Center of the Ozarks donors provide blood to patients in 40 area hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and southeast Kansas. Help save a life this week – give blood.