Regional blood supply runs critically low

    REGIONAL -- Iowa’s blood supply has reached critically low levels in recent months due to a dip in donations, increased demand for blood products and diminished staffing at blood centers.
    Danielle West, director of public relations and marketing at LifeServe Blood Center, said the blood shortage has persisted for the past three to four months.
    LifeServe is the sole provider of blood to more than 120 local hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, the majority of which are located in Iowa.
    West attributed the decrease in donations in the last few months to more people receiving vaccines, therefore returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles and having less time for blood donation.
    Sue Smith, coordinator for the Harlan Red Cross blood drives, said blood drives in Shelby County have suffered from fewer donations since the start of the pandemic.
    “We are still in desperate need of blood,” Smith said. “We aren’t getting as many units as we usually try to get.”
    Smith said demand for blood has reached “critical levels” due to an increase in need during the pandemic.
    “We still have the basic need of blood due to injuries and cancer…those have not gone away, and COVID can cause you to need blood as well,” Smith said.

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