The sole supplier of blood to more than 110 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota is putting out an urgent plea for donors. Nicole Hanger, spokeswoman for LifeServe Blood Center, says there’s an urgent demand for blood and the only source is human volunteers.
“It’s not unusual that we see donations decrease at this time of year, however, the holidays coupled with the winter storm that we had on Monday has had a critical impact on the local blood supply,” Hanger says. “We have less than a one-day supply of most blood types on the shelf and we typically want to have a three-to-five day supply of all blood types so we can meet the needs of local hospital patients.”
The full process of donating a pint takes about an hour. Hanger says you’ll register at the front desk and a nurse will discuss your health history and do a mini-physical to make sure you’re eligible to donate.
“Once you’re in the donation chair, the actual process of donating one unit of blood takes about five to ten minutes, so, you’re not in the chair for very long,” Hanger says. “Once you’re done, we’ll get you in the canteen area where you can have snacks and juice and rest and relax and know you’re helping to positively impact the lives of three different hospital patients here in our community.”
Blood supplies have dipped, she says, as nearly 325 units of blood were lost this week due to cancellations, closings and delayed collection efforts.
“We are in a critical need right now,” Hanger says. “We really need blood donors. If it’s safe for you to travel, if you’re healthy and eligible, we really need you to come out and volunteer your time. It’s one of the few volunteer opportunities that doesn’t take a lot of time, doesn’t cost you anything and it has such a profound impact on your community.”
Donors are urged to schedule appointments or walk-in to donate. Appointments can be made online at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org or by calling 800-287-4903.