Residents can help at an upcoming mobile blood drive in Rolla.

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks reports reserves of blood products are less than one day levels, most mobile blood drives are cancelled for May — although a few remain — and the blood center is seeking locations in the area for emergency drives. 

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), is the sole supplier of blood and plasma to patients at more than 40 area hospitals, and is currently issuing a critical appeal for all blood types. 

In view of increased local usage and continued blood drive cancellations, area reserves have dropped to less than one day levels for all blood types. 

Most of the organization’s mobile blood drives for the month of May have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, Rolla area residents will have the opportunity to donate at a mobile drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 11 at First Baptist Church, 801 N. Cedar St. 

CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said more than 3,000 donations were lost last month due to similar circumstances amid COVID-19. While a few mobile blood drives remain on the schedule, it remains vitally important to continue to see increased donation levels at CBCO’s four donor centers. 

During the month of April, blood donors at CBCO’s fixed site locations gave enough to get the not-for-profit organization through the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, but hospital usage was down significantly during this time.

Roberts said, “Now we are really challenged as hospitals increase their blood needs. We are still experiencing multiple cancellations of previously scheduled drives this month and a critical shortage is looming.”

“We have always been transparent in sharing our needs with the region. Our message now is simple and important. Area patients need blood now. We must do our part to help our friends and neighbors. Please help if you can and please give to the sole local provider of blood in the region,” he added. 

Appointments are strongly suggested so that social distancing guidelines can be maintained and for optimal donor flow. Donors may search for a drive coming to their area or make an appointment to give online at https://www.cbco.org/donate-blood/.

CBCO is actively seeking and scheduling emergency blood drives in areas not supported by a fixed site location. If members of the public think they might have a suitable space to host a blood drive, either inside or on a CBCO bloodmobile, please contact the blood center at 417-227-5000.

"On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community," Roberts said.