Blood banks across Iowa are running low on blood supplies and in some cases there’s a critical need for donors. Christine Hayes is with the Lifeserve Blood Center in Des Moines. “We typically like to have a five day supply of all blood types on our shelves to be able to respond to the ever changing needs of our hospitals,” Hayes said.
But, donations typically drop during the summer months and it’s not unusual for supplies to drop to a three day level. The current blood supply is much lower than expected. “At this time we have a critical need in many of our blood types and have less than a day supply of blood on our shelves,” Hayes said.
The Lifeserve Blood Center was formally known as the Blood Center of Iowa. It serves 90 hospitals throughout Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. Hayes says the center needs about 8,000 to 10,000 units of blood a week to meet demand.
About 25-percent of the center’s donors are between the ages of 16 and 24. “Obviously, during the summer months, our ability to recruit this section of the population is lowered because they are not in school. We hope to see an increase in our blood supply when these students go back to school,” Hayes said.
The Lifeserve Blood Center has nine offices in Iowa.