The Oklahoma Blood Institute provides 95 percent of the blood supply to hospitals in Oklahoma, which is why there is always a need for donations.

Jamie Kendall, the Comanche County Memorial Hospital Lab Director, says the Oklahoma Blood Institute is the sole provider for their blood supply.

“It’s important that we have the blood products here to assist in transfusions of all of our patients, and we have not had to cancel any surgeries because of the support of our community, and getting out and donating at our local blood drives,” said Kendall.

Daren Coats is the Vice President of western division operations for the Oklahoma Blood Institute. He says that it’s always important for the hospital to be prepared for the worst, especially this time of year.

“A large percentage of our collections come from high school and college students,” said Coats. “And in the summer those people aren’t there. They’re not available for us to draw. In addition, some of the businesses and factories and communities where we depend on blood draw, people are on vacation.”

Kendall says CCMH is in a shortage of 0 negative blood.

“0 neg is a universal donor so we can give it to any patient until we find out their blood type,” said Kendall.

Donating blood is very simple. The first thing you do is answer a series of questions. And then the blood drawing is only about 15 minutes. Coats says it’s time that is well worth it.

“We encourage people to drink plenty of fluids, eat a full meal before they come in to donate blood,” said Coats. “Most people are eligible to give blood. It’s really easy to come in and make a difference in somebody else’s life.”

CCMH will be hosting a blood drive at the hospital Wednesday, April 24th, from 8am to 5pm in Maple Rooms 1 and 2. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you do need to make an appointment you can call the hospital at 585-5406.