It’s supposed to be the season of giving, but not enough Iowans are giving blood. Christine Hayes, spokeswoman for the Blood Center of Iowa, says the state’s blood supply always dips during the year-end season. Hayes says with Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Saturdays this year, the Blood Center of Iowa will collect as much blood as possible in advance so hospitals can make it through both weekends. She says many Iowa offices are holding special blood drives on December 24th with various incentives. They’re offering blood donors free gift wrapping on Christmas Eve along with a host of stocking-stuffer gifts. The Blood Center of Iowa serves 34 hospitals in 33 counties across northern and central Iowa. Hayes says the center needs more blood from so-called universal donors. They need type O-positive and O-negative blood types as well as A-positive. The blood from people with type-O can be used in patients with any blood type. Hayes says anyone who is old enough, weighs enough and is not sick can donate blood. Donors need to be at least 16 years old with parental consent, weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good general health. People with colds or the flu should stay home until they’ve fully recovered. Iowans who would like to donate, can call 800 GIVE LIFE to find the nearest blood center, or surf to “www.bloodonor.org”.
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