MASON CITY — Blood supplies in Iowa are at a critical low and donors are being urged to schedule immediate appointments or just walk in to the nearest blood center to donate.
Hurricane Dorian is beginning its trek up the East Coast and Danielle West, spokeswoman for LifeServe Blood Center, says blood stockpiles in Iowa were already low coming off the three-day weekend.
“Locally, we are definitely in need of blood donors after the Labor Day holiday,” West says. “We sent a lot of blood products out to our hospital partners before the holiday and donations are always lower around holidays. We want all of our local donors to step up so we can not only help locally but also nationally in those hurricane-affected areas.”
LifeServe is the sole provider of blood to more than 120 hospitals in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. It’s also part of a network of health care providers who share resources — and blood — following acts of terrorism or natural disasters, like the hurricane. “We sent some ahead of the storm, thinking maybe last weekend it could hit, but with our current level as low as it is, we wouldn’t be able to help in this situation if we got the call today,” West says. “We’re really hoping we can get more donors in the door here to be able to help our local hospitals and to also help those in need in other areas.”
LifeServe has a blood center in Mason City. West says all blood types are needed for donations. “Our number-one responsibility is to help locally, making sure all of our local hospitals have what they need,” West says. “As part of the disaster task force, we actually send blood directly to Florida to the blood centers in that area. So, an Iowan sure could help someone in Florida that needs a blood product if they’re not able to get it.”
To schedule an appointment, call 800-287-4903 or visit www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.