Oklahoma Blood Institute reopening Norman donation center

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

Peggy Stockwell, left, donates blood at the Cleveland County Courthouse during the Cleveland County Bar Association's blood drive in 2018. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will reopen its Norman donation center this week. 

As Oklahoma organizations continue to urge residents to donate blood, an announcement from the the Oklahoma Blood Institute may help Norman residents with making donations.

OBI announced Monday it is reopening its blood donation center at 1004 24th Avenue Northwest in Norman on Wednesday after the center closed for renovations in April. The renovated donation center includes a remodeled interior and newer amenities, a news release from OBI states.

The donation center was closed for a few months, but will reopen ahead of schedule, OBI marketing and media manager Heather Browne said. The center has expanded to two suites and has doubled in size, Browne said, and renovations include new donor chairs, a larger donor room with new televisions, a remodeled canteen and heated beds for platelet donors.

The donation center will also continue its original hours of operation. Hours include Monday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The center will accept walk-in appointments, and donors can also schedule an appointment by calling the center or visiting the OBI website

Browne said the much-needed renovations will allow OBI to better serve the Norman community.

“We (needed the increased space) because our donor base in Norman has increased so much,” Browne said. “The new amenities at the center will make things more comfortable and more accessible for our donations. We’re very excited for Norman residents to experience our new donation center.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recent changes to OBI’s procedures and guidelines will remain in effect at the donation center, Browne said. In addition to increased sanitary procedures, staff members and donors will have their temperature taken before entering the center, and measures will be taken to ensure donors are practicing social distancing while donating blood.

OBI is continuing to seek donations of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, which could help patients who are struggling with the virus. Donors may make plasma donations at the center. Donors may also request a free COVID-19 antibody test when they donate blood, Browne said. 

Browne said OBI is optimistic that the donation center will be more convenient for residents to donate blood, as the pandemic has created an urgent need for blood donations.

While lifted restrictions across the country have helped with increased donations, Browne said there is still a massive need for residents to donate when they can, and OBI is looking for businesses and other organizations to volunteer in hosting blood drives.

For more information, www.OBI.com or call 877-340-8777.

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