As we approach a busy summer holiday, supplies of blood are starting to run short at Iowa blood banks and hospitals for surgeries and emergencies. April Oppliger, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross-Midwest, says blood donors are direly needed to come forward, both in the state and nation.
Oppliger says, “Blood donations for the month of June across the country for the Red Cross have been down about 50,000 pints from where we thought they would be.” She says that’s about half the supply the agency had on hand at this time last year.
A couple of factors are contributing to the shortage. “We have seen it get warmer sooner and so people have started doing outdoor activities and have gotten busier sooner,” Oppliger says.
“The other thing is the Fourth of July holiday is coming up next week and with it being a mid-week holiday, we have had a lot of groups say to us we can’t host a blood drive.” She says it also hurts that high school and college classes are out for summer and the normal influx of young donors has fallen dramatically.
“When school’s out of session, we see donations from those 16-to-24-year-olds drop by as much as 57%,” she says. To find a place near you in Iowa to donate blood, call 800-Give-Life or visit www.redcross.org.