Arkansas Blood Institute needs donors as supply for blood has suffered due COVID-19

Arkansans are known for giving, and one life-saving group is counting on that — and counting on you.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansans are known for giving, and one life-saving group is counting on that — and counting on you.

It’s simple supply and demand. 

“The need for blood is always there for us, every day,” explained Mario Sedlock, the Executive Director at Arkansas Blood Institute.

The demand remains the same. The nonprofit takes the blood donations of Arkansans to Arkansas hospitals — 40 of them, across the state.

But recently, the supply has suffered. Blood drives have been canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic took over.

Things are slowly getting back to normal, and this week, the institute held what it believed was the biggest blood drive ever in downtown Little Rock, inside Central High School.

“It’s just a small thing to be able to do and it’s quick, it took maybe 30 minutes to come down here and give the blood,” said Susan Brown. 

She was is one of the donors who stopped by, after scheduling a time on the institute’s web page.

“It was very easy, came down and the process went well. I’m usually nervous about needle sticks but it was as easy process and a small thing to do to help somebody else out.”

At every blood drive, CDC recommendations are being followed, and there’s no problem social distancing. 

“It’s a large space, I felt really safe,” she said.

The institute has even added free COVID-19 antibody screenings for adults.

“And we’re happy to offer that,” explained Sedlock, “because we believe it’s a value added and appreciation for our donors.”

And, it’s working. The recent blood drives have been all booked. Even so, “you can come by and check to see if we can take you,” he said, “if we can fit you in we would love to do that.”

Blood donation typically takes only about an hour.

There’s another big blood drive Friday, July 17 at the Hot Springs Mall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can sign up right now here. 

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