LifeServe Blood Center is on-call to send blood products to Texas after deadly school shooting as part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps BERC
Last Updated on May 25, 2022
DES MOINES, IOWA (May 25, 2022) – LifeServe Blood Center is prepared to support areas in emergency situations as part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC). 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 is on-call this week to help if needed. When on-call LifeServe sets aside units of type O positive and O negative blood for possible deployment through BERC. 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.
“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,” said Danielle West, Director of PR and Marketing at LifeServe Blood Center.
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.
“Our mission is to save lives locally, but in times of national crisis our donors are eager to help,” West said. “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.
LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community-based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in our regions since 1963. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the SOLE provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend or family member or a stranger on the street. YOU make a difference in YOUR community.