American Red Cross officials are appealing to Iowans to donate blood as supplies are running low. Katie Marshall, spokeswoman for the agency’s Omaha-Council Bluffs chapter, says most blood banks’ shelves were left nearly empty after the recent series of severe snowstorms on the East Coast.
“They were just hit week after week after week and that led to a shortage that we really could not make up for them right now,” Marshall says. While Iowa had a whopper snowstorm back on January 31st into February 1st, many New England states got repeatedly blasted by winter weather, dumping several feet of snow. “We have had, just in the month of March so far, more than 200 blood drives canceled and that left us about 7,000 pints of blood short,” Marshall says.
There are enough blood donations in Iowa to meet the demand from local hospitals but she says there’s none left over to ship to areas where supplies are extremely low. “We canceled hundreds of blood drives in February and that resulted in 26,000 pints of uncollected blood,” Marshall says. “The total, between March and February, about 35,000 pints of blood have gone uncollected.”
To donate, call 800-Red Cross or log on to www.redcrossblood.org.