With Independence Day just ahead, many of Iowa’s blood centers will be open earlier, later or both in anticipation of a drop in donors as summer vacation season heads into full swing.
Danielle West, spokeswoman for LifeServe Blood Center, says supplies are already beginning to falter. “We always see a dip in donations during the summer months,” West says. “People are busy and not really thinking about blood donations. We know that’s coming. We’re also preparing for July 4th when we’re closed so that whole day of collections we won’t have. We’ve extended some hours in our donor centers around the area to prepare for the holiday and hopefully, boost the supply going into the summer months.”
All donors of all blood types are welcome. “We’re always in need of the O blood types, O-positive and O-negative, we’re usually in critical need of those,” West says. “Really, any and all blood types now are at a lower level than we’d like them to be. We’re asking any and all donors to come in, especially first-time donors. We’d love to see you, let you know your blood type and find the perfect donation for you.”
For Iowans who’ve never donated blood before, the time commitment is minimal and the benefits of your donation are far-reaching. “We usually tell people it’s around 45 minutes to an hour,” West says. “You start with registration, you do a short questionaire, a mini-physical and you’re actually only in the donation chair for maybe five to ten minutes and then we have snacks at the end.”
Donating a single pint of blood may help save the lives of as many as three hospital patients. As one of the nation’s 15 largest blood centers, LifeServe provides blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Schedule an appointment online at lifeservebloodcenter.org or call 800-287-4903.