Blood collection agencies are in a bind. Officials at the Blood Center of Iowa say there’s a blood drought this summer and they hope to replenish their supply of blood by the Fourth of July Holiday. The center provides blood to 45 Iowa hospitals, and spokesperson Christine Hayes says the center has collected a “significantly lower” amount of blood, especially for type O positive and O negative. Hayes says “an unusually low number” of folks have donated blood during the spring. Hayes says blood donations during the summer are typically lean as many regular donors vacation and have busier schedules. Hayes is especially concerned about the situation because of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. She says blood use sometimes spikes during the July 4th weekend because the number of traffic accidents increases. Other factors contributing to the blood drought are the aging donor pool and viruses such as West Nile, because folks who have West Nile have tainted blood that must be thrown out by the Blood Center. To find out more about giving blood, you can contact The Blood Center of Iowa at 1-800-287-4903 or at www.bloodcenterofiowa.org.
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