The risk of blood shortages in Iowa hospitals is on the rise as donations are on the decline. Kate Bishop is spokesperson for LifeServe Blood Center which serves around 120 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
“We typically a see a decrease in blood donations during the summer months as people are going out of town or attending ball games…they get busy and aren’t always able to make their regular blood donations,” Bishop said. “This summer though we are actually experiencing a critical need that is even more critical than usual.”
The mass shooting in Orlando on June 12 put all blood donor centers in the country “on call,” but Bishop says blood shipments from Iowa were ultimately not sent to Florida.
LifeServe, based in Des Moines, can usually help with blood supplies when there are shortages elsewhere in the country, but that’s not the case right now. “Unfortunately, right now, our blood supply is so low that we aren’t able to provide the amount of assistance that we would like to,” Bishop said. This week, the LifeServe Blood Center will host its largest blood drive of the year.
The 34th Annual Blood Donor Day event on Thursday (June 23) involves blood donation drives in a pair of high traffic areas around the capital city; Capital Square in downtown Des Moines and Valley West Mall in West Des Moines.