Health

Strain on supply prompts call for blood donations in Eastern Iowa, nearby states

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center experienced 'unprecedented' spike in utilization

Collection specialist Shy Rush makes a note after a blood donation at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center mobile blood drive in Hiawatha on Friday, June 8, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Collection specialist Shy Rush makes a note after a blood donation at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center mobile blood drive in Hiawatha on Friday, June 8, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The typical shortage of blood donations around a holiday has been compounded after several hospitals in the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center’s service region saw an increase in blood use, prompting officials to put out a call for more donations.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is requesting additional blood donors this week, officials said Friday.

“Increased use over the last two weeks ... has put a strain on the blood supply, particularly on the Type O blood group,” officials said in an emailed statement.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center provides blood to about 90 hospitals in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Kirby Winn, public relations manager for the blood center, said hospitals in its region saw an unprecedented number of “massive transfusion protocols,” or an unexpected high use of red blood cells and platelets.

“Hospitals we serve have had five different cases of (massive transfusion protocol) events — three this week and two during the first week of August,” Winn said.

Inventory is moved to affected hospitals from the center’s distribution hubs, Winn said, but the center can only resupply the distribution hubs with new donations as they come in.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

However, with Labor Day just around the corner, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is expecting a drop of 20 percent of its usual donations.

The center typically sees a drop in donors the weeks around a holiday. Winn said the rate of blood donations also generally is lower in the summer, in part because high school and university blood drives aren’t taking place during that part of the year.

“It’s that time of year when the blood supply is a little lower than it is other times of the year, so it’s that much more challenging,” Winn said.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is asking individuals of all blood types to consider a donation.

To find a nearby donor center or a mobile blood drive, individuals can call the center at (800) 747-5401 or schedule an appointment online at www.bloodcenterimpact.org.

Those who donate during summer months will be offered a voucher for a $10 gift card to Amazon, Domino’s, Dairy Queen or Casey’s General Stores.

Individuals who make donations Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays will receive double points on the center’s IMPACT Donor Loyalty Store.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.