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Blood Banks Seeing Donation Shortage

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Some blood banks are seeing a shortage this summer.

The Red Cross reports it's already short 80,000 blood donations.

There are numerous reasons behind the shortage.

First this summer's storms meant potential donors stayed home to clean up.

It also led to cancellations of several blood drives, making it difficult to maintain supply.

There's a personal story behind Patti Jensens decision to donate blood.

"My father was diagnosed with hemochromatosis. It's where you store too much iron in your liver and the only way to treat that is to blood let, she said.

So once a week her father would donate a pint of blood.

"I have not been diagnosed with it, but they say that this is a way to prevent that so if I go in and give blood, that hopefully I won't get that, Patti said.

It's been five years and counting since she started donating and workers at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center would like to see more people take a similar step.

"The summer is a really tough time. There are a couple of factors that go into that. During the school year we have a couple of high school and college blood drives, we don't have that resource to draw on over the summer, said Lisa Sparrow, Supervisor of Donor Relations.

Add that to summer vacations and those regular donations fall. A situation sparrow says they'd like to avoid.

"There's a surgery happening all the time, there's an accident that happens all the time...It's almost like a parachute. If it's not there before the accident happens, it's too late, she said.

That's where scenes like this come into play, to pump up the donation level. Something Patti says is worth the time.

"it helps other people out, it's not painful, you get one little poke in the arm, then you get a bag of cookies when youre done, she said.

Right now, donations at the center are down 20 percent that's over a thousand donations.

They plan to hold another drive at unity center this Friday from 9:30 to 1:30pm.
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