Ozarks Tonight: Give blood and keep the flow going

Ozarks Tonight

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is experiencing a shortage of all blood types. The center is the area’s only provider of blood products to more than 40  area hospitals. This means around 200 donations are needed each day to meet the area’s blood needs. The blood center says on average, a transfusion takes place every seven minutes.

Jenifer Abreu sat down Chris Pilgrim, a public relations representative with the Blood Center, to learn more about how donation works and how you can help.

Pilgrim says the Blood Center has been serving the Ozarks for 25 years and local donors provide help for local people.

Several things may lead someone to need a blood transfusion, some examples are a car accident, a premature baby or someone who has a blood condition that requires blood transfusions.

Pilgrim says 90 percent of people who live to age 70 will need a blood transfusion at least once.  

To give, you need to be at least 16 years of age, with written parental permission if you are under 18, weigh at least 110 lbs, may not have given blood in the past 56 days, and have to be filling well at the time of your donation.

Pilgrim says the Blood Center has a robust high school and college donors. They have a blood donation program in 140 area high schools.  He says about 30 percent of the blood they receive comes from high school and college students.

The process is simple and not painful, he says, all it takes is a light stick and a sting and the needle is in someone’s arm for about ten minutes.

Donors have to fill out a 50-question questionnaire and then there are refreshments after the donation process. The entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

The Blood Center defers people every day, Pilgrim says, and low iron levels are the number one reason why.

The Center does take walk-ins but appointments are encouraged. For more information, and to give blood, click here.

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