Texas Blood Institute hosts blood drive Friday as need for donations rise

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Up to three people can benefit from a blood donation, and the number of donations is down though the Texas Blood Institute is in desperate need.

Myrna Mack, 79, said her dad gave blood more than 50 times during his life, so Thursday on the 25th visit she said as long as she can she will continue to donate blood so it may help those in need.

“It’s the only thing that I can do, like a person by myself for someone else to save their life,” Mack said.

This year it has become even more important for Mack to donate and to encourage others to do the same since her cousin was involved in a motorcycle wreck on I-35 in Fort Worth this past summer.

“Since [the wreck], I don’t even know how many transfusions he’s had to have, but he’s survived, and he’s gooing be able to walk and maybe see again,” Mack said.

Although all blood types are needed, Texas Blood Institute’s Southwest Operations Vice President Daren Coats said people with O-negative type blood, which makes up only 7.5% of the population, are especially encouraged to donate.

“O-neg is the first line of defense in an emergency setting,” Coats said. “If a doctor doesn’t have time to match and cross-test to make sure everything matches up, then they are going to use an O-neg transfusion to stabilize someone so that universal donor can help every person that walks through the door.”

To encourage Texomans to give the gift of life, NBA basketball team Oklahoma City Thunder officials have teamed up with the Texas Blood Institute to offer an incentive to everyone who donates: a free Thunder ticket to a select home game.

“If you just don’t look when they put the need in, it’s no big deal,” Mack said.

While some people can be hesitant to donate, Coats said it’s vital people understand the necessity of donations.

“About half the adult population in the United States is eligible to give blood; less than 5% actually give,” Coats said. “We know the statistics tell us that one in three people are going to get a blood transfusion at some point in time in their life.”

With this information in mind, both Mack and Coats appeal to Texomans to give a little to make a big difference in someone’s life.

See blood drive info below:

  • Where: Texas Blood Institute at 3709 Gregory St., Wichita Falls, Texas, 76308
  • Time: Between 10 a.m.—6 p.m.
  • Donors receive a free Thunder ticket voucher and a long-sleeved Thunder themes T-shirt

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