Reserves of blood products are at less than one day levels. More than 6,500 donations have been lost.

As increased local usage and blood drive cancellations continue, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) has issued an urgent call for blood donations.

CBCO blood reserves are below one-day levels for all blood types. Most of the organization’s mobile blood drives in April and May were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 6,500 donations have been lost. 

“We came out of the Memorial Day weekend in dire need of help from our donors,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “We’re having a difficult time keeping our shelves stocked, and since we’re the sole provider of blood to area hospitals, a blood shortage impacts us locally. It is vitally important to help the area where you live by giving blood that will be used to benefit your friends and neighbors.”

There are limited opportunities to give this week at mobile blood drives in the service region, but it remains vitally important to continue to see increased donation levels at CBCO’s four donor centers until further notice, according to Roberts in a release on Wednesday.

“We are so appreciative of our faithful donors and the many first-time donors who have stepped up during this time of need,” Roberts said. “Many of those who donated for the first time when all of this started are now eligible to give again and we are urging them to please consider making another donation. And if you have never donated, now is the perfect time to start.”

All donors in May will receive a free t-shirt. Donation opportunities exist at CBCO donor centers in Springfield, Joplin, Springdale, and Bentonville. Additionally, the following mobile blood drives will take place during the remainder of the week:

•Salem - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 27 at Salem Memorial Hospital, Highway 72 North

•Ash Grove - 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 at Ash Grove Community Blood Drive , 100 N. Maple Lane

•Aurora - 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 29 at Mercy Hospital Aurora, 500 Porter

•Branson - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 28 Emergency Blood Drive-Elevate Branson, 310 Gretna Road

•Fordland - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 at Fordland Clinic, 1059 Barton Drive

•Springfield - 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 29 at Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, 3535 South National

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. Anyone who thinks 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.