DES MOINES, Iowa — Blood is still critically needed year-round, especially this time of year when accidents and traumas happen more frequently.

It’s given to cancer, trauma, and surgery patients. Often if there aren’t enough donations, surgeries can be postponed.

That’s why LifeServe took measures this week to help save more lives. They opened up additional centers and hours.

During Thursday’s Blood Donor Day at Valley West Mall, more than 400 units of blood were collected. It impacted nearly 1,200 people.

Even though progress is being made, more donations of all blood types are still needed. LifeServe typically has a couple of days worth of blood supply, but now they’re down to a one to two-day supply.

But what happens if there isn’t enough blood supply? Danielle West with LifeServe said it’s a big concern amid the nationwide shortage.

“If we can’t provide the blood that our hospitals need, we reach out to other community blood centers across the country and try to get it from them,” West said. “The scary part though is with this being a national shortage, nobody has extra to share. So we’re really relying on our community to step up and help to ensure that we can support our regional hospitals and the patients in our community that need it.”

Often people assume they can’t donate, but they encourage those to call and check.

“If you’ve never donated before, this is a great time to come out and help because this is the only way those patients in the hospitals are going to get what they need,” West said.

If you can’t donate, there are ways to help combat the shortage by spreading the word, volunteering, or hosting a blood drive.

To check out their website for more information or to make an appointment click here.