SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is asking for immediate donors, as it says blood reserves are dangerously low with only a two-day supply on hand.
The center is the sole supplier of blood, platelets and plasma to 44 of the area’s health care facilities and hospitals, and says the need is critical for all blood types.
“We are trying to encourage anybody who is an eligible donor to get out and donate as soon as they can,” CBCO Media Relations Representative Michelle Teter said. “We have several blood drives across the southwest Missouri area, and we have two donor centers in Springfield and Joplin.”
The summer months don’t see as many donors because 40 percent of donated blood comes from high schools and colleges hosting blood drives during the school year, Teter told The Heartlander.
Only about 3% of the rest of the population actually donates, she said. CBCO prefers to keep a minimum of a five- to seven-day supply of blood on hand, which becomes more difficult during the non-school months.
To make matters worse, Teter says more tragedies and accidents tend to happen in the summer, which increases the need for donors, just as blood donation centers are seeing supply shortages due to the pandemic.
“If you always wanted to know what you can do to give back to your community, this is a great way to give back to your community,” Teter said. “Sometimes in mass tragedies, our blood might get sent off. We did send blood to Uvalde, Texas and we are part of BERC (Blood Emergency Readiness Corps). Different local blood centers across the United States make up that. There are about 30 of them, and we happened to be one of the 10 on call that week.”
Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is located at 220 West Farm Road 182 in Springfield and at 101 North Rangeline Road in Joplin. Prospective donors can call 417-227-5006 or visit the CBCO website to schedule an appointment and cut down the wait time.