DES MOINES, IA – LifeServe Blood Center has sent blood products to South Texas Blood and Tissue following a May 24 school shooting in their area.
According to a release from LifeServe, the group is on standby if more is needed and is prepared to support areas in emergency situations as part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corp (BERC).
The community blood supply is lower than they’d like, so LifeServe is encouraging donors to come in to donate as soon as possible to ensure the supply is stable and able to support the Texas area.
BERC is composed of more than 35 blood centers from across the nation that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, on-call schedule. The extra blood products are held in reserve for critical-need scenarios, like the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
After the news of this deadly shooting, BERC was called into action and LifeServe Blood Center was on-call to help if needed. When on-call LifeServe sets aside units of type O positive and O negative blood for possible deployment through BERC.
BERC has been activated and LifeServe Blood Center is sending blood products to South Texas Blood & Tissue.
If the units are not used, they return to regular inventory for local distribution.
LifeServe Blood Center is the sole supplier of blood products to 129 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Blood collection rates have dropped significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic and most blood centers do not have enough blood on their shelves to handle mass transfusion disasters. The community blood supply has been low for several months causing concern for LifeServe. Blood donors are urgently needed to boost the local blood supply and ensure LifeServe can assist other areas when called upon.
Danielle West, Director of PR and Marketing at LifeServe Blood Center said, “in order to support the needs of patients in areas impacted by emergency situations and ensure our local medical partners’ needs are met, we will need to see an increase in blood donors in the coming days and weeks.”
Before BERC, blood centers in emergency need requested units from neighboring blood centers with the hope that excess blood was available. BERC assures that blood is ready to be shipped without delay or uncertainty. Since its formation in September 2021 BERC has responded to three mass casualty events in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.
West added, “our mission is to save lives locally, but in times of national crisis our donors are eager to help. Being a member of BERC creates that opportunity. If local donors want to help, we ask that you donate as soon as you can.”
To donate blood, donors can make an appointment by calling 800-287-4903 or visiting www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.