The American Red Cross is asking Iowans to donate blood to make up for a shortfall created in part by last week’s heavy winter storm. Amy Yeska is a donor recruitment representative with the Red Cross based in Waterloo. She says five blood drives had to be canceled last week in eastern Iowa alone, resulting in a loss of close to 300 donations.
“The severe weather throughout the United States has impacted the Red Cross severely,” Yeska said. Compared to one year ago, the organization is down about 23,000 units of blood nationwide. Yeska says the Red Cross is working to reschedule drives and shipping blood to areas facing shortages.
“With the Red Cross being nationwide, we have been able to pull blood from other regions to serve our hospitals and patients – not just locally, but also nationally,” Yeska said. Red Cross chapters in Iowa were already running low because of earlier bad weather, but last week’s storm has worsened the situation. Donors can sign up to give blood at www.redcrossblood.org.