Blood supplies across the region aren’t at the critical stage, yet, but they’re getting close. April Opplinger, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Mid-America Blood Service Division in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says donors are becoming very scarce.
Opplinger says, “We haven’t had to cancel any surgeries or things but we have definitely put our national inventory system to the test.” The winter months are often among the worst for blood donations, and Opplinger says the particularly cold weather the past few weeks has been having an impact.
“We have seen, since January 1st, about 14,000 blood donations canceled,” she says. “We have had to move blood products from one hospital to another to make sure that patient needs were met.” Opplinger is appealing to all Iowans to consider making a donation of a pint to help replenish local and national supplies.
“Our blood supply is the lowest that it’s been in January in over a decade,” she says. “We’re encouraging people to take the time to find out if there’s a donation opportunity around them and to make an appointment or even walk in, today or next week.” Opplinger says the Red Cross conducts blood drives regularly across the region.
Donors can visit “www.redcrossblood.org” or call 800-RED CROSS.