Donor Eligibility Impacting LiveServe Blood Supply

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The state's largest blood bank says it has never seen donor turnout this low in its history.

For more than a year, LifeServe's blood supply has sat at a critically low level. Right now, it has less than a two-day supply for half of the blood types; it should have a five-day supply.

Officials say the holiday season and recent cold snap could be keeping donors away, but it's also the amount of eligible donors that's making giving difficult.

"Only 38% of the population is eligible to donate, but less than 10% of that group actually come in and donate," says LifeServe spokesperson Danielle West.

People not eligible to give are those with certain medical conditions or who have recently traveled outside of the country.

LifeServe is contracted to supply blood to 120 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The lack of supplies has forced it to outsource supplies .

"We have imported from other blood centers in California, New York,  South Carolina just to have a safe supply for our hospital partners here."

West says 140,000 Iowans donated in 2017. She says that numbers should be closer to 200,000.