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January 20, 2013 10:00 PM

Sickness Causes Blood Donations To Drop

Sioux Falls, SD

The blood mobile travels many miles all year long and it's ready to hit the road again, looking for the next big donation.

"If you're in a 200 mile radius of Sioux Falls you are receiving blood from Community Blood Bank," Community Blood Bank Executive Director Ken Versteeg said.

However, with the temperatures dropping and snow plummeting to the ground, Versteeg says getting winter donors is difficult.

"You have weather where you might have to cancel a blood drive and you're not able to meet the demands of the hospitals," said Versteeg.

And this year, something else is keeping donors away.

"The cold and flu season, we usually see that in the end of February. So this year we are seeing it a little bit earlier this year," Versteeg said. "Because of this spike in the cold and flu season, we have seen a decrease in donations anywhere from 15 to 20 percent on our blood drives."

Luckily for the Community Blood Bank, supplies are good after the annual "Heroes Behind the Badges” donor drive; which is a friendly competition between Sioux Falls Police and Fire Rescue.

Even if the blood bank has plenty now, Versteeg says, with about 550 units of blood being used each week you never know where it may stand two weeks from now.

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