UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist Medical Center, in partnership with LifeServe Blood Center, announced it has begun providing whole blood transfusions to severely injured patients. Iowa Methodist, the only Level 1 trauma center in Central Iowa, is the first hospital in Iowa to provide whole blood transfusions to these patients, the health system said in a news release. In traumatic injuries, when a patient experiences blood loss, they lose all individual components, both oxygen carrying cells and clotting factors to stop bleeding. Studies have shown that in trauma situations a transfusion of whole blood may be more beneficial than individual component therapy. For the past several decades, blood transfusions have been separated into three component therapies: red cells, plasma and platelets, because most patients only require a part of a whole blood donation. “Treatment like this would not be possible without blood donation volunteers,” said Danielle West, LifeServe’s director of PR and marketing. “Each blood donor matters and plays a critical part in saving a life. There is always a need for whole blood, double red cell, platelet and plasma donations. Unfortunately, not all donations provided by volunteer donors meet the criteria needed for LifeServe to use that donation toward a whole blood transfusion.” To learn more about becoming a blood donor or to schedule a blood donation, visit LifeServe at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.