OBI offers assistance to Las Vegas shooting victims - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

OBI offers assistance to Las Vegas shooting victims

(Souce KSWO) (Souce KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - With so many people injured, blood donors are certainly going to be needed over the coming days, but here in southwest Oklahoma officials say they have “a robust inventory” of donated blood thanks to the local response to Hurricane Harvey.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has already reached out to their counterparts in Nevada to let them know they are ready to help if called upon. But Vice President of Western Division Operations Daren Coats said right now, there isn't a full understanding of the needs of Las Vegas hospitals.

"Unfortunately, in a situation like Las Vegas, we don't know what the response will be until the hospitals start to put in orders to say what's going on for their surgery schedule or what their response was,” Coats said. “So right now we stand ready to respond in the event we are called, but in this moment we haven't been reached out to."

In times of tragedy, like in Las Vegas and with the recent hurricanes, Coats said blood donations tend to rise, but oftentimes it’s before the tragedy happens that they're needed the most.

“The blood that is on the shelf at the time of an accident is the blood that saves the lives of those people that are in need that is why we really do try to educate the public to donate when you see us. When we're at a school, we're at a business, when we're at a location and you see us out in the public, that's why were there. We want to be able to respond on the front end of an accident,” Coats said.

Pictures have surfaced from Las Vegas of thousands of people from the area, upon hearing the news, flooding to the local blood banks there to do their part to help the victims. Coats said seeing that overwhelming response to the tragedy has been heartwarming.

"It's great to see humanity responding to a time of need,” Coats said. “When people see an urgent need and they want to help any way they can. It's nice to see our fellow human beings being willing to roll up their sleeves and donate blood and I think that's a normal thing we get in today's society. We want to help each other."

Coats said unfortunately, there are always going to be more tragedies, more accidents and more people desperately in need of donated blood. He encourages anyone who is able to give as often as they can. 

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