OK (KSWO) – Emergency air transportation plays a critical role trauma care in a rural state like Oklahoma. For years, O-negative blood was often unavailable in air ambulances.
"To say this was a daunting challenge is an understatement," Dr. John Armitage, OBI's president and CEO, said. "The need for O-negative is great, but the supply is not. Only 7 percent of the population has this blood type. We started this initiative last summer because our O-negative inventory did not allow us to fully supply our state's air ambulances. We knew that must change."
Thanks to donors across the state, Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) announced that a full supply of O-negative blood is now available for all 24 of the state's air ambulances.
"We called on our donors to help us set a higher standard of emergency care for trauma victims and they responded like Oklahomans always do in times of need," Armitage said. "We can now say, because of our donors, this life-saving blood is available at every scene, every time."
Anyone can receive O-negative blood regardless of their own blood type, this universal life saver is critical in trauma care.
"Our donors save lives," Armitage said. "They may not be paramedics, but when they give, they are right there on the scene with emergency responders."
To schedule an appointment to donate or find a blood drive in your area, call 877-340-8777 or visit www.obi.org.