DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Due to severe winter weather causing havoc across multiple regions in the United States, numerous blood drives were canceled, causing a decrease in blood donations.
According to a release, LifeServe Blood Center, along with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, is urging eligible blood donors in parts of the United States unaffected by the storm to schedule blood donation appointments as soon as possible and to keep existing appointments.
This situation is expected to continue for at least several more days. Multiple blood centers across the country, in particular Texas where blood center operations have been suspended for multiple days, are in immediate need of blood products to sustain operations and support their customers.
LifeServe Blood Center has already sent blood products to blood centers located in southern areas of the country that are struggling to collect. However, the winter weather locally has deflated the community blood supply. LifeServe Blood Center is in need of both blood and platelet donations.
“We’re doing all we can at this time but really need more local donors to step up. We’ll serve our local hospital partners first, but if we have more blood products to share, we can then help centers in Texas and other areas that currently need more assistance,” said Danielle West, Director of Public Relations and Marketing with LifeServe Blood Center.
Blood collection organizations anticipate donation disruptions in winter weather-affected areas throughout the next couple of weeks. This disruption may particularly affect the supply of platelets, which have a limited shelf life of just five days. Donations are being sought now to ensure hospital patients will continue to have access to a readily available blood supply throughout the storm and its aftermath.
“We are asking potential donors, both current and first-timers, to make a commitment to donate blood and platelets,” said Dennis Todd, PhD, chair of the Task Force. “Donating now, or making an appointment to donate soon, will help to ensure that sufficient blood is available for all patients who need it during the storm and its aftermath.”
Those eligible to donate blood should make an appointment with LifeServe Blood Center by calling 800-287-4903 or visiting Life Serve’s website.