Jan 13, 2022 - News

How to help NW Arkansas' "scary" blood shortage

Vials of blood sit on a table as a man donates blood on January 11, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
Vials of blood sit on a table as a man donates blood on Jan. 11 in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. is facing a "dangerously low" blood supply that could have devastating consequences, the American Red Cross warned this week.

Driving the news: COVID, winter storms and staffing challenges, among other things, have disrupted the nation's blood supply. In recent weeks, blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than one day's worth of blood for certain blood types, Axios' Shawna Chen writes.

Why it matters: When supplies are low, blood banks are often just one natural disaster or catastrophic accident away from running dry.

Zoom in: All the Northwest Arkansas hospitals receive blood from Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), not from the American Red Cross.

  • CBCO supplies all the blood used in Benton, Washington, Madison, Carroll and Boone counties in Arkansas; 32 counties in southwest Missouri and three counties in Kansas.

What they're saying: "It's a little bit of a scary situation right now," Kenda Burnham of CBCO told Axios.

  • The nonprofit usually keeps a three-day supply of blood on hand, but inventory has been running just under a two-day supply lately.

She encourages healthy people to donate up to six times a year — approximately every eight weeks — to help keep a steady supply available.

Help out: You can donate Monday – Thursday 11am to 6 pm and Friday 8am to 2 pm at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks offices in Bentonville (1400 S.E. Walton Blvd.) and Springdale (3503 S. Thompson Ave.).

Upcoming blood donation events for CBCO:

  • Jan. 17 — Prairie Grove Boots & Badges, 500 N. Cole, Prairie Grove
  • Jan. 19 — Walker Elementary School, 1701 S. 40th St., Springdale
  • Jan. 24 — City of Rogers Community Blood Drive, 315 W. Olive St., Rogers
  • Jan. 25 — Harps General Office, 2894 W. Sunset Ave., Springdale
  • Jan. 28 — Well U, 525 N. Garland, Ave., Fayetteville
  • Jan. 28 — Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, 603 N. Progress Ave., Siloam Springs
  • Jan. 31 — Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista, 1880 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista
  • Jan. 31 — Allen's Food Market, 60 Sugar Creek Center, Bella Vista

Search for NWA events in February and beyond by date, city or ZIP code.

Zoom out: Arkansas Blood Institute supplies most of the River Valley area and central Arkansas. Search for events and locations.

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