Operators of some Midwestern blood banks are warning the supplies of donated blood are dangerously low. Pam Masching says the Sioux-Land Community Blood Bank serves more than two-dozen hospitals in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. She agrees the supply is short and says you could blame your vacation. In Summer, people’s schedules are hectic and busy and they don’t have the routine they follow in fall, spring and winter. She says the need’s still there this time of year, with recreation and travel raising the risk for accidents and injuries, as well as the usual disease, cancer and other surgical patients who’ll need blood as usual. It’s not hard to step up and help solve the problem, as Masching says many people can give blood. If you’re at least 17 years old, in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and it’s been 56 days since you gave, you can probably donate. Masching says it’ll take a while for a donor to go through a long list of questions and a brief checklist she calls a “mini physical.” Since they review any medications you’re taking, bring a list, and also a list of any foreign countries you’ve traveled to in the last half-year, as well as your I.D. Masching says health concerns sometimes prompt extra tests and inquiries, when there are questions about possibly blood-borne diseases going around, from Mad Cow to Monkeypox. On July first, the Sioux Land Community Blood Bank started testing donor blood for the West Nile Virus.
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