Blood donations are needed across the nation as the Red Cross says we’re in a blood crisis. We talked to blood bank lab officials inside Comanche County Memorial Hospital to see how it’s impacting them.

Prakriti Adhikari, the Blood Bank Supervisor at CCMH, said they’re supplied by Oklahoma Blood Institute, and officials there have told them in dire need of donations.

“And so they’re asking the hospitals to cut down on their inventory and make adjustments accordingly,” Adhikari said. “But we are taking care of patients like 24/7, so we are dealing with that.”

Having blood at the hospital ready for whoever may need it if an emergency happens is vital.

“There have been times we have given 10 to 20 units of blood to a single trauma patient,” Adhikari said.

Others who may need it at the hospital are surgery patients, cancer patients, and NICU patients.

“So there are a lot of need to the blood transfusions,” she said. “And we always have to depend on our community to support us.”

Many people often donate when it’s convenient. That’s according to Aaron Bevington, the Blood Bank Lead Tech at CCMH. He said people donate when a drive is happening at their work or somewhere else where they might be.

“But if schools are closed, but if businesses are closed, then people might not think to donate,” Bevington said. “Or they might not realize that they can go down to the donor center…that they don’t have to wait for a blood drive to come to them.”

He encourages everyone who can to donate.

“The fraction of people that are eligible to donate that do donate isn’t very high,” Bevington said. “So if people could take a little bit of time out of their day to donate, it would help our situation.

“We want to encourage our young population if you’re healthy to go out there and donate,” Adhikari said. “You can contact the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Lawton.”

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is in downtown Lawton off A avenue. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to give, and donors could save up to three lives with their blood. If you want more information about donating, contact the Blood Institute in Lawton.