Red-CrossSevere winter weather has left blood supplies for many hospitals at critically low levels.

Katie Marshall, spokesperson for the Midwest region of the Red Cross, says there’s an “emergency need” for blood donors.

“What we’re seeing at this point is that the blood that’s coming in is going out to hospitals just as quickly as donors can come in and give it,” Marshall said. Blood supplies were already low at the start of the year because of the usual slowdown in donations around the holidays. But, supplies have been further depleted by winter storms.

A handful of blood drives in Iowa are among the more than 300 blood drives that have been canceled across 20 states since January 1. “Many blood drives have been canceled for days on end and that really takes a toll on the whole blood supply nationwide,” Marshall said. Blood supplies have been hit especially hard by the weekend blizzard that struck the East Coast. But, wintery weather in Iowa has also resulted in delayed donation drives.

“We can’t get to certain rural communities if ice hits on a certain day or there’s just a little bit too much snow,” Marshall said. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.