Each New Year, many people resolve to do more to help others in their community by giving more freely of their time and resources. Giving blood offers a great opportunity to fulfill that resolution and have impact in the lives of others almost immediately.

Just before the New Year began, the Oklahoma Blood Institute announced that blood supplies in our state had reached critical levels, with a supply of less than two days’ blood on hand. Because of the holidays and bad weather, donations were down while accidents and injuries increased.

While the need for blood is constant, donations decrease as regular donors are busy or unable to travel. Now is the time for all eligible Oklahomans to chip in and help replenish our state’s blood supply.

One of every three people will need blood products at some point in their life. One of those three could be yourself or a loved one. Still, fewer than 5 percent of eligible donors in the U.S. give blood each year.

I am confident we can boost our blood supplies. Oklahomans are caring and compassionate people who, historically, give blood at rates much higher than the regional average.

Healthy adults, age 17 and older, are eligible to donate blood. The process typically takes only about an hour. The Oklahoma Blood Institute has donor centers in Tulsa, Ardmore, Ada, Lawton, Enid and Ponca City, and five centers in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Additionally, mobile blood drives are held in other locations around the state in schools, churches, businesses and community centers. For more information about giving blood, call 1-877-340-8777, or visit the OBI Web site at www.obi.org.

Every day, Oklahomans facing a medical emergency live because someone gave blood. Giving blood saves lives, and one of those lives could be yours or someone you know. I encourage all eligible Oklahomans to give blood now or in the coming weeks.

GOV. BRAD HENRY may be reached via his Web site at www.governor.ok.gov.

Recommended for you