Winter weather and illness have combined to cause blood donation levels in the Ozarks to drop substantially over the past several weeks.  As a result, most blood types are in very short supply.  Nearly 300 potential donations have been lost due to cancelled blood drives, while other scheduled drives have come in well under projected donation levels.  To avoid a critical blood shortage, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is strongly urging donors to give this week at a drive or donor center near them.

We have seen a sustained period of drive cancellations and reduced donation levels due to illness and inclement weather,” CBCO Media Relations Representative Chris Pilgrim said.  “While a day or two of donation difficulties can be overcome, this problem has lingered over the past several weeks.  We need an immediate response from healthy donors that are eligible to give.”

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is the sole local provider of blood for patients at more than 40 area hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas and southeast Kansas. Sick and injured hospital patients depend on CBCO donors to provide the lifesaving blood they need.      

A blood drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, 1211 Porter Wagoner Blvd

Each donation will be awarded LifePoints as a part of CBCO’s donor rewards program.  LifePoints may be redeemed online for a variety of gift cards, or points may be assigned to other meaningful causes or charities.  More information on the LifePoints donor rewards program may be found at www.cbco.org.

To be eligible to give blood, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health, and present a valid photo ID.  For more information about sharing your good health with others, please visit the website at www.cbco.org, or call toll-free 1-800-280-5337.

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