Local blood reserves low, donations needed for all types

File photo / Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks has issued a critical appeal for all blood types.

Blood reserves are low, with less than a two-day supply available, according to a news release. Eligible donors are asked to give immediately at a local blood drive or donor center.

Officials said while many have had to deal with nationwide shortages of everything from toilet paper to formula due to various factors, a community blood shortage is not the same.

“While people are used to having to find alternatives to products that are in short supply, we cannot do the same with blood. There is no alternative,” said Anthony Roberts, executive director of CBCO. “And the great news is that there is a plentiful supply of blood in our area. We just need people to share it.”

Roberts said donating blood is easy, and only takes about an hour to make a big difference.

Much of the shortage in community blood has to do with the time of year and some lingering effects of the pandemic.

“We are in the time of year where we lose the opportunity to work with schools and colleges, so we have to count on other groups to help support the blood supply during the summer,” Roberts said. “We are also seeing many businesses calling employees back from working at home but not yet allowing blood drives at their facilities. Most people are willing to donate when there’s a convenient opportunity whether at work, church, or school but those opportunities aren’t as plentiful as in the pre-pandemic world.”

Hospital officials are also asking those in the community to help out and give blood.

“When emergencies happen, the need for blood is critically important for us,” said Larry Shackelford, president of Washington Regional. “The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is our local blood supplier, and our patients receive the blood products they need from blood donors who donate with CBCO.”

Donors can give at one of four CBCO donor centers located in Springdale, Bentonville, and in Springfield or Joplin, Mo.

Appointments are strongly encouraged to manage donor flow. To schedule an appointment call
417-227-5006 or visit CBCO.org/donate-blood/.