Critical need for blood donations

Massive transfusions deplete blood supply

LifeServe Blood Center is urging community members to schedule appointments to give blood as soon as possible after several massive blood transfusion events this week depleted the blood supply to a critically low level.  Several blood types have less than a day of supply on the shelves to meet patient needs.

Numerous massive transfusions have taken place in Des Moines metro hospitals this week, severely depleting the community blood supply.  Situations like these can see one patient needing anywhere from 10-50+ units of blood.  For perspective, one blood drive collects an average of 25-30 units of blood.

“We do our best to keep a full supply of each blood type on the shelves at all times, but situations arise where a single hospital patient can require significant amounts of blood,” explained Danielle West, Director of PR and Marketing with LifeServe Blood Center. “It’s hard to predict when a massive transfusion situation will occur which is why a consistent supply of blood is crucial.  Having multiple massive transfusions in one week has been brutal on the community blood supply.  We just haven’t been able to replenish what has been needed as quickly as we would like.”

In addition to massive transfusions, the resurgence of COVID in our area has impacted the mobile blood collection calendar in an extreme way. “Fewer blood drives and low blood donor turnout in addition to the other struggles we’re currently facing has plummeted our blood supply levels,” West said. 

Appointments for blood donation are required. Interested individuals can find convenient locations to schedule an appointment to give, either at a mobile blood drive near them or one of several LifeServe Blood Center locations.  Appointments can be made online at or by calling 800.287.4903.

To help ensure the safety of blood donors and team members during this COVID-19 pandemic, LifeServe is enforcing several precautionary measures:
Appointments are required to ensure social distancing between donors, team members, volunteers, and visitors.
If donating at a mobile blood drive, please follow the hosting location’s mask requirements.
If donating at a LifeServe Donor Center, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated blood donors are encouraged to wear a mask for the duration of their appointment. If you do not have a mask, we can provide you one.
LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1963. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the SOLE provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend or family member or a stranger on the street. YOU make a difference in YOUR community. 

Upcoming blood drives
• Thursday, Sept. 23, 12:30-5:30 p.m. at Stone Ridge Community Church, Decorah
• Monday, Oct. 4, 12-5 p.m. at First Baptist Church in south Waukon
• Wednesday, Oct. 6, 12:30-5:30 p.m. at Elgin Legion Hall, Elgin
• Friday, Oct. 8, 1-5 p.m. at Calmar Lutheran Church, Calmar
Regular blood donors may donate blood as often as every 56 days. First-time donors will find that donating blood is a safe and easy way to save lives and make a difference in the community. One single blood donation can save the lives of up to three sick or injured hospital patients. 
Blood that is collected is tested carefully and according to the federal regulations.
To help maintain Iowa’s blood supply, donate at any of the upcoming blood drives listed. Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins can only be accepted as the schedule permits. To schedule your appointment, please call the LifeServe Blood Center at 800-287-4903.

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