Rise in flu cases impacting OBI's blood supply

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - "I saw on Facebook where they needed donors," Tony Wilson said. "I have O-negative with special antibodies so I like to give as often as I can."

Executive Director of the Ada and Ardmore Centers, Susan Crews, says they've been struggling to get donors in for the past month.

"We're down to less than a one day supply which when you think about that that's very unnerving," Crews said. "If we were down to a one day supply of milk or bread or eggs or any of those staples people would be panicking."

She says it's mainly because of winter weather and the flu outbreak that's caused several schools to shut down and cancel scheduled blood drives.

"30-40% of our blood inventory comes from high schools," Crews said. "I would say in Ada and Ardmore it's even higher."

According to the State Department of Health's reporting system, since September, the flu has sent over 300 Southern Oklahomans to the hospital and resulted in 12 deaths.

"For this season what we are seeing is the peak of our testing is a little later in the season than it was last year," county health official Mendy Spohn said. "Last year's season peaked very early in the season and the duration of the season was longer than this year."

Crews says if you do catch the flu you can donate after being fever free for at least seven days.

Every donation can save up to three lives and donors get free t-shirts.

"We give red cells, plasma, platelets so when you donate whole blood you donate all of those components so saving a life is probably the most important thing," Crews said.

If you'd like to donate you can schedule an appointment either online over the phone or stop by in person.

You can find the most up-to-date information on the flu by visiting the state health department's website at https://www.ok.gov/health/Prevention_and_Preparedness/Acute_Disease_Service/Disease_Information/OK_Flu_View.html

You schedule an appointment or look for the nearest OBI locations at

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