ALTOONA, Iowa — Iowans saved more than money at the outlet mall in Altoona on Saturday — they also helped save lives.
“The unit we collect the most of is a whole blood unit. It goes to the lab and gets separated into three different components. Red cells, plasma and platelets. Each component can go to a different patient, so up to three lives can be saved for a single donation,” said Kevin Higdon, LifeServe Blood Center’s mobile supervisor.
The mobile unit set up shop at the Outlets of Des Moines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. So far this year, LifeServe estimates its previous blood drives at the mall have helped save more than 300 lives. LifeServe says it needs the community’s help. While donations have dropped because of the pandemic, the need for lifesaving blood has not been put on pause.
“The need for blood hasn’t stopped or anything with quarantine because some of the products we collect go to patients who need it chronically and consistently. On top of accidents that might occur and day-to-day life, it still is a necessity to collect,” Higdon said.
Blood Type O+ is in high demand at the moment. It is a type that roughly 84% of the general population can receive. Due to the pandemic, LifeServe wants donors to register ahead of time before giving blood at lifeservebloodcenter.org