Blood Donations Needed

December  23, 2013

      Just as the weekend winter storm affected shoppers and travelers, it also caused problems for the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. Spokesman Kirby Winn says bad weather on Friday closed school in Dewitt where the school district and blood center hold a pre-Christmas blood drive every year. It usually brings in 150 students, faculty, and local residents to donate.

      "In many years, that's been an event that has helped sustain the blood supply through the week of Christmas and even into the new year because it was nice to have that one to count on."

      He says typically donations at this time of year drop about 20 per cent, but the need for blood is steady whether there's a holiday or not. 

      "And what drives that really is the number one reason blood is transfused is cancer treatment. That's nearly 20 per cent of all blood transfusions. And cancer remains at about the same rate all year round. There's nothing in the weather or the calendar or holidays that changes with that."

      And the second highest number of transfusions are due to heart disease.

      Winn says the Blood Center has three donation centers in the Quad Cities - two in Davenport and one in Moline, plus centers in many other cities across its service area. They're open this week except for Christmas Day.