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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Need For Blood Donations Increases As Drives Are Canceled

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Community Blood Center of the Ozarks blood drives continue to be canceled due to the coronavirus, and that has CBCO administrators concerned.

“As of Thursday morning, 54 upcoming blood drives had been cancelled, resulting in the potential loss of more than 2000 donations,” said Chris Pilgrim, media relations representative for the CBCO, "and, so, we're going to be dealing with this for a series of weeks."

They're asking those who are healthy and feeling well  to give blood as soon as possible to help the blood center "get through what could be a real crisis," he said.

The need for blood continues, he pointed out, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are still traumas, there are still people with blood disorders, there are still women having babies that may cause a person to need blood, there's still cancer patients needing treatment," Pilgrim said, "so the need for blood is there all the time."

The CBCO has taken steps to protect donors and employees, including taking everyone’s temperature when they arrive at a blood center or mobile blood drive.

A blood drive honoring former Springfield Police officer, Aaron Pearson, will be held Friday, March 20, at the Thomson Donor Center, 220 W. Plainview Rd, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Donors will receive a commemorative t-shirt that expresses support for Pearson and police departments across the region.  Pearson was critically wounded in January, 2015 when he was shot in the line of duty.  He required 20 units of blood.

Find out how to donate blood at cbco.org