And that's led to a big shortage of a key ingredient for sustaining life.
Blood banks nationwide, including here in Siouxland are at a critical low.And because the Midwest has the highest percentage of people eligible to donate, 38 percent, the Red Cross is asking Siouxland to step up now.
The low supplies could soon go from little to none across the nation and even here in Siouxland, as reported earlier this week when we spoke with LifeServe.
The winter conditions over on East coast and even in the South have caused several roadblocks for donors and shut downs for blood bank centers.
And with high demand and low donations, Red Cross' blood banks could soon take another severe hit from the upcoming winter storm. "You know it really is the icing on the cake and not in the best kind of way because we are -- we already canceled a 1,000 blood drives since just the first of the year. That's 35,000 donations that have not been collected and so for an organization that supplies blood nationwide that's a significant impact for us," said Tammy Lee, executive director of the American Red Cross of Greater Northwest Iowa. That's why the Red Cross is hoping you can step in.
Siouxland, unlike many other regions, isn't being affected by severe winter storms, which means most centers and mobile units are open; people throughout the tri-state region can access those locations to donate blood and help replenish the limited supply. "The need is most critical and there's an urgent need right now for folks who have O negative blood, O positive, B negative and A negative, so anyone with those blood types we are asking them to make a special consideration for a donation at this time," said Lee. Despite a heightened need for these specific blood types, the Red Cross is encouraging everyone who can qualify as a healthy donor to give blood and help save lives.
The American Red Cross and the Life Serve donor network are holding several drives across Siouxland in the next few days.
That includes a number of communities in northeast Nebraska, such as Wayne and Norfolk. You can go to these websites for more information on either organization.http://www.redcrossblood.org/ OR http://www.lifeservebloodcenter.org/
If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about it.BEdme@siouxlandnews.comfacebook.com/beairshelle.edme OR twitter.com/BeairshelleKMEG