DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Iowa-based blood bank is sending some of its supply to Texas after this week's school shooting.
"Iowa blood is going to Texas. We're sending them O-negative units, and then we're on call. They could ask for other blood products, they could ask for other blood types through the week," says Danielle West with LifeServe Blood Center.
She says they're part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps--an on-call national network supplying blood to areas of immediate need--like Texas this week.
West says it also means LifeServe has to reserve part of its blood supply for the network, deepening a shortage that's gone on through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Blood donor turnout this year has been lower than we'd like it to be, so our inventory is not as strong as we'd like it. We are still sending blood products because we're on-call, but we absolutely still need blood donors," West says.
She the local blood shortage also comes at a high-demand time of year.
"Our physicians refer to summer as trauma season because, unfortunately, that is the case. People are out-and-about, they're doing more activities--the need for blood goes up in the summer, and we're already seeing that," West says.
She says summer also sees business- and school-organized blood drives taper off--exacerbating a struggle to get donation efforts restarted after mass cancelations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
LifeServe Blood Center serves more than 120 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.