The Oklahoma Blood Institute has responded to COVID-19 by asking for donations of plasma from people who have recovered from the disease and by taking extra precautions in collecting blood.
People in the Yukon and Mustang areas can help.
People unaffected by COVID-19 can donate blood from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at the Mustang Lowe’s, 1000 E. State Highway 152.
Another blood drive will be from noon to 6 p.m. May 1 in front of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce office, 10 W. Main St.
Donations can be made weekdays at blood centers at 901 N. Lincoln Blvd. and at 5105 N. Portland Ave. in Oklahoma City and 3409 S. Broadway in Edmond.
“We’re meeting the needs of local patients, but blood is constantly needed, so we’re encouraging appointments to ensure social distancing,” said spokeswoman Heather Browne.
Call (877) 340-8777 to make an appointment.
Thursday, OBI announced that it had its first units of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, part of an experimental initiative to treat seriously ill patients.
OBI created a statewide registry to catalog available recovered COVID-19 patients to serve as possible donors after the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked the potential treatment.
To join the registry, go to my.bio-linked.org.
“At OBI, we’ve always pursued innovation and emerging opportunities to improve health and save lives,” said President and CEO Dr. John Armitage.
“Today, that innovation has allowed us to bring hope to patients and their medical teams as they explore this new treatment option.”
The collected plasma units will be processed and tested for safety.
Once cleared for patient use, they will be transfused to critically ill patients at participating hospitals.
The extra precautions include additional cleaning methods.
In addition, staff is wearing masks, and social distancing is being practiced for blood collection.
OBI is taking the temperature of all staff and donors before they enter a donation site.
“We’re limiting the number of donors in the donor area to allow for social distancing,” Browne said.
“If the donor area is full, please give us your cellphone number, and we will call you when you’re ready to enter.”