Two of Iowa’s largest blood centers report blood supplies are critically low heading into the holiday weekend. Blood banks typically like to have a five-day supply of blood on hand. Both the Siouxland Blood Bank in Sioux City and the Des Moines-based Blood Center of Iowa are down to less than a two-day supply.

Blood Center spokeswoman Christine Hayes says the plea for donors is urgent. “We are in critical need of donors who have type O-negative and type B-negative blood,” Hayes says. “We are certainly encouraging those donors to make an attempt to give blood, hopefully today or tomorrow.” She says having hospitals across the region fully supplied with all blood types is vital, especially as a surplus of travelers will be on the roadways over the Labor Day holiday.

“We really like to go into every week having a very stable blood supply,” Hayes says. “Unfortunately, during the summer months, we tend to see our blood supply dip. Our donors get busy with outdoor activities in the last bit of summer and forget to make a blood donation appointment.” She says donors across Iowa are encouraged to call their nearest blood bank and sign up for the easy process of giving blood.

“Now, as we’re going into a long holiday weekend, bolstering our blood supply is even more important than ever,” Hayes says. “Because we’re not collecting blood on Sunday or Monday for Labor Day, we need to collect more blood today and tomorrow to get us through this long weekend.”

To find the nearest place to donate, call 800-287-4903 or visit: ““.