As local blood supplies reach critically low levels, health officials are asking for donations over the next three weeks.
Holiday activities and changes in routines often prevent people from sticking to their regular blood donation schedules in December and January, said Kaitlin Zobel, donor recruiter at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers.
This year, the seasonal lull and impact of COVID-19 has dramatically affected the supply while the needs of patients have increased.
“This is a good year to resolve to make a difference in someone else’s life when they need it the most,” Zobel said in a press release. “And I can’t think of a better way than this. Every time you donate blood, you can save up to three lives in less than an hour.”
All blood types are needed but particularly donors with A and O blood types as well as donations of whole blood and platelets.
The centers are also in need of new platelet donors, which help patients with chronic diseases like cancer, blood disorders, transplants, and those who undergo major surgeries or suffer major injuries.
“We love our donors, but we need more to be able to keep up with the demand at the hospitals,” Zobel said. “We only have so many in our database who donate platelets on a regular basis, and the bottom line is that platelet transfusions are outnumbering the donations we’re getting.”
Donations can be scheduled at either of Garth Englund’s blood donor centers at 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins or at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., in Loveland.
To donate, a person must be at least 18 (17 with parental permission) and show a photo ID. New donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health. Prior donors must weigh at least 110 pounds.
A typical whole blood donation takes 30 to 40 minutes; platelet donations take between 90 minutes and two hours.
Interested donors can call 970-680-8053 for an appointment. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/uchealthblood.
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at email@example.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.