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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.

Critical Need For Blood Continues In Southwest Missouri, Northern Arkansas

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks

There’s a critical need for blood for patients at more than 40 area hospitals in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.  The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks issued a critical appeal for blood late last week.

CBCO spokesman, Chris Pilgrim, said Tuesday that reserves are at less than a one-day level for most blood types, and all blood types are needed.

“Hospitals need blood. It’s just a simple fact,” he said.  “And when the blood supply is not there, sometimes they have to make unfortunate decisions in regards to elective surgeries and the like, so we want them to keep healing patients here in the Ozarks, and, for that, they need an ample supply of blood.”

Blood supplies are low because hospitals have increased their usage levels as elective surgeries resume.  And, according to Pilgrim, blood drives in both April and May have had to be canceled.  They lost about 3,000 donations in April, he said.

There are some emergency blood drives scheduled this month.  And Pilgrim said they’re looking for businesses and organizations that can host additional drives. 

The CBCO has adopted new guidelines since the pandemic began to protect both donors and staff members.  Those include requiring staff to wear masks, moving beds six feet apart and sanitizing all surfaces where a donor has been.

Blood donors are encouraged to make an appointment before heading to a donor center or drive.

Call 417-227-5006 to make an appointment or go to

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.