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Blood banks reporting unusual autumn short supply

Blood donations in the U.S. aren't routinely screened for the Zika virus.
Blood donations in the U.S. aren't routinely screened for the Zika virus.
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Local blood banks currently have only a one to two-day supply of type O blood. That's not the norm this time of year.

Kirby Winn is a spokesman for ImpactLife, which supplies blood for both of Peoria's largest hospital systems.

"This time of year, things are usually pretty routine," Winn said. "I think people who give blood are motivated to help, and this is a time where the help is really greatly needed as we look at our inventory numbers."

Winn says the problem is compounded by staffing shortages. That's forcing ImpactLife to cancel mobile blood drives where they usually collect many of their donations.

"To be at a just a one to two day supply doesn't leave very much room or cushion or flexibility in terms of how we manage our inventory," he said.

Winn said ImpactLife targets a five-day supply.

The American Red Cross is also reporting blood and platelet supplies are at their lowest post-summer levels in six years, with donor turnout down about 10 percent as summer came to a close.