Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is asking eligible blood donors to give blood in the coming days as donation rates lately have declined.

“We have experienced a decrease in the rate of blood donation in recent weeks, while at the same time blood utilization has remained strong at hospitals within our region and around the country,” said Amanda Hess, director of donor relations. “We’re seeking an increase in donations to make sure we’re prepared with blood ‘on the shelves’ for needs in our local community and around the country.”

Donations are urgently needed to help ensure a strong blood supply for hospitals served by MVRBC.

To schedule an appointment to give blood at an MVRBC Donor Center or mobile blood drive, call (800) 747-5401, find blood drive information online at www.bloodcenterimpact.org, or schedule via the Blood Center IMPACT app, available on iTunes or Google Play (see www.bloodcenter.org/app for info).

Donations of all blood types and products (red cells, platelets and plasma) are needed, but inventories of type O-negative, red blood cells and all types of platelet products are needed most urgently. Type O red blood cells and AB plasma are “universal” blood components, so named because these components can be transfused to patients of all other blood types and are frequently used in emergency settings.

“By giving blood now, donors will help ensure the continued availability of blood components for hospitals in the communities we serve,” Hess said. “Every donation makes a tremendous difference for patients who may need a lifesaving blood transfusion.”