Big growth is happening fast at the Blood Center of Iowa, including dropping the word “Central” from its name. Spokeswoman Christine Hayes says they currently serve 34 hospitals in counties from the Minnesota border to the Missouri border, but will add nine more next May, mainly around Waterloo and Cedar Falls. Hayes says this will increase the demand on the Blood Center’s services as the new clients will need about 10,000 units of blood. Hayessays a donor center will open in Waterloo so local donors can support their local hospitals, and send Bloodmobiles out for on-location blood drives at schools, businesses and other locations. Blood doesn’t last very long, she explains, so they need donations all the time. Right now, Hayes says each donor with the Blood Center gives blood onthe average once a year. She says they’ve been lucky not to have a critical shortage in this region but normally during a holiday supplies become short and usage increases. The Blood Center has an incentive program to get thoseonce-a-year donors to come give more often. You can give six times a year, every 56 days, and the new program called “Four Pints For Life” will give donors a free T-shirt after their fourth donation within a year.
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