Life-Serve-Blood-CenterAn organization that distributes blood supplies to more than 100 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota is reporting that blood donations are dropping off rapidly as the holidays draw near.

Beth Phillips is the public relations and marketing manager for the LifeServe Blood Center.

“Right now, we’re actually in what we call an ‘urgent need’ for blood, which means that we have less than a two day supply,” Phillips said. “We like to have a three to four day supply on our shelves, especially going into the busy holiday travel season.” Phillips believes many people who routinely donate blood are struggling to find time to do so as they prepare for the holidays.

Despite the “urgent need” for donors, Phillips notes things could be worse. “This winter, we’ve been fortunate because of the weather. All of us have probably been out and about and enjoying the weather a lot more during our holiday shopping,” Phillips said. “But, as we know in Iowa, the weather can change quickly on us and that is detrimental to the blood supply as well. When we face that severe weather, we end up canceling a lot of mobile collections.”

About 70-percent of the LifeServe Blood Center’s collections come from those mobile donation drives. The remaining 30-percent of collections are made at the organization’s offices or donor centers in Des Moines, Urbandale, Ames, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Sioux City, Waterloo, and Mason City.

Those centers will only be closed a couple of days through the holiday. “We are only closed on Christmas day and New Year’s Day, so you can definitely schedule an appointment and come see us over the holidays,” Phillips said. Donors must be at least 16 years old and weigh at least 120 pounds.