SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks hopes to build its supply of blood donations before the holiday weekend so that hospitals will be prepared for any surges over the weekend.
Area hospitals are already facing a surge of ER visits and are in need of blood for transfusions due to depleted reserves.
Tully Beard with CBCO says the need doesn’t stop at the end of the business day Friday.
“We need to make sure we make it through a long weekend because the need doesn’t stop just because our offices close,” says Beard.
CBCO also says because of travel, there will automatically be fewer donations than normal.
In the last three months, transfusions at area hospitals have been at the highest they’ve been in the last five years, making it challenging for places like CBCO to catch up.
“We’re living kind of hand to mouth. As much blood as we get into our organization and into our reserves. It goes right back out to the hospitals,” says Chris Pilgrim, media relations coordinator with CBCO.
The organization is planning massive giveaways Friday for anyone who spends time in the chair to ramp up supply.
“That donation only takes about ten minutes. The needle is only in your arm for about ten minutes, which is nice. And then if you’re a whole blood donor, it only takes about an hour to get through the whole process,” says Beard.
The giveaway event is called ‘Light It Up,’ and donors will receive a gift card to Kum & Go, a free shirt, and something to light up your weekend…
“One person will walk away with a fireworks package worth $175. So we’re going to give that away in anticipation of a great Fourth of July holiday,” says Pilgrim.
The ‘Light It Up’ starts at 8 a.m. Friday and runs until 6 p.m. at the Thompson Center on Plainview Road in Springfield. Donors can make an appointment or walk in to donate.