Blood drives set this week, next

The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday. That’s why Oklahoma Blood Institute urges area residents to give this holiday week. Poteau Chamber of Commerce will host a blood drive from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at the chamber offices. Appointments are not required but can be made by calling (877) 340-8777 or visiting Carl Albert State College is starting off the new year by saving lives through blood donation next week on Tuesday, Jan. 7, in the ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or Wednesday, Jan. 8, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.“Donating blood is a selfless gift,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “The cost — one hour of your time — is certainly less than other gifts given this season. But there’s nothing that has greater impact.”Each donor at the chamber will receive a hot/cold gel pack, health screenings and Donor Rewards points redeemable for items in OBI’s online store. Donors at CASC will receive a Donors will receive “Feel Bold” T-shirts plus the other benefits. Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary contribution of similar value to the Global Blood Fund for donors who choose to decline the gifts. This can make a difference in countries lacking even the basics for a secure and safe blood supply.Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed. Almost anyone 16 years or older can donate blood. Blood can be given every 56 days. Each donation can save as many as three lives, according to OBI.Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest nonprofit blood center in America, exclusively providing every drop of blood needed by patients in Choctaw Nation Health Care System, Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center and Life Flight. Some 140 other medical facilities across the state also rely solely on OBI to provide life-saving blood for their patients.