MASON CITY, Iowa - A drastic decline in donors means that blood donor services like the American Red Cross are encouraging people to give blood during the summer months.
They say it's because those who give regularly often delay this time of year due to vacation plans, and blood drives are sometimes hard to schedule.
Jon Danielson is in charge of scheduling blood drives with the Mason City-based LifeServe, which is not affiliated with the Red Cross. He says it's always important to give blood, regardless of time of year.
"Here we do whole blood. People can donate here, they can do a whole blood donation, they do platelets and plasma. If they want to call us and set up a time, that's great. Also, if they want to walk in, that's certainly welcome."
Despite keeping track of how many people donate when they're open, as well as checking what's in supply at hospitals and donor centers, they are also no exception to summer shortages.
"There is a time where there is a shortage, especially on different types of blood, and we may need to reach out, text people, email people, make some additional phone calls, specifically for certain blood types."
Danielson adds that O- is usually one of the high demand types of blood, though they are currently looking for all types.
The American Red Cross says while about 38% of the population is able to give blood, less than 10% of those eligible actually do.