TBI official reminds Texomans they can help during tragedies with blood donations

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Blood donations are critical to saving lives everyday, but when disaster strikes like that in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, blood donors are even more necessary. For those who might feel hopeless about the situation, officials with the Texas Blood Institute want Texomans to know they can help out here.

“One person could easily use, you know, 100 units of blood. They have lots of victims who are in critical care in those two areas and probably using a very large amount of blood,” Texas Blood Institute Recruitment Manager Jennifer Risinger said. “Blood is something that cannot be made in a laboratory, so when people need blood it has to come from donors like you and I.”

About 9% of the total population has an O-Negative blood type, but those donors are essential to trauma patients as O-Negative is given first to victims entering the hospital until doctors have time to send their blood to the lab to be typed.

“We need constant blood donors, so that if there ever is a tragedy like this that happens or a car accident or a patient that’s using a lot of blood, that blood is on the shelf and ready to go,” Risinger said.

Risinger also said because it does take 24 hours after a person donates blood for it to be tested and processed before reaching those in need.

Having an ample supply of blood donations not only helps locally but afar when it’s needed.

“We will take care of our community first,” Risinger said. “We’re the sole provider of blood to United Regional, Kell West, and all of the surrounding hospitals. So we’ll take care of those first and if we have anything leftover and they reach out to us for help, we would be more than happy to help them. But it’s gonna take, you know, our local doners to step forward and help not only their local community but El Paso and Dayton as well.”

The Texas Blood Institute in Wichita Falls hasn’t yet been contacted to send blood to those in El Paso, but they want to be ready and able if the call is made.

If anyone is looking to give blood, Texoma Blood Institute is open Tuesday through Friday for walk-ins.

This Friday, Aug. 9, there will be a blood drive at Sikes Senter Mall from 2—6 p.m. across from Bath and Body Works and at the Community Health Care Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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