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Oklahoma Blood Institute offering free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors

Oklahoma Blood Institute.PNG
(KOKH/FILE)

There's a new incentive to combat Oklahoma's desperate need for blood donations.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute announced Wednesday that it will provide free COVID-19 antibody testing for blood donors over 18-years-old.

Right now, blood donations are down 20%.

This testing initiative, provided at all donor centers and mobile blood drives, comes in the wake of an immediate need for blood donations due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations.

"Maybe it's the trick that gives us one more unit that keeps us from delaying surgeries. Nobody wants the lack of blood to prevent care. The worst thing for us to imagine is what if you're a cancer patient and you have to stay in the hospital an extra day because you can't get the transfusion to allow you to go home to your family," said George Monks M.D., President Oklahoma State Medical Association.

This will not only let you know if you've been exposed but give key medical information to health officials as we navigate this pandemic.

"I get so many questions about when can we go back to normal? We can't answer that question until we truly understand COVID-19's presence in Tulsa and Tulsa County," said Dr. Bruce Dart, with the Tulsa Health Department.

Oklahoma Blood Institute supports the inventory for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.

Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or visiting obi.org.




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