Blood donations needed – supplies critically low

Local blood supplies are critically low, and the officials at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Centers are asking the public to consider donating blood in the next three weeks to help save lives.

A seasonal lull in blood donations has affected the supply at UCHealth facilities in northern Colorado, according to Kaitlin Zobel the recruiter for the blood centers.

Donations of all blood types are needed and important, Zobel said. However, the centers especially need donors with O negative, O positive and A positive blood. 

Donations can be scheduled at either of Garth Englund’s blood donor centers in northern Colorado – 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins or at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., in Loveland. Officials expect the need will be ongoing for the several weeks. Interested donors should call 970.680.8053 to schedule an appointment to donate sometime this month at either of these locations.

To donate, a person must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with a parent’s permission) and show a photo identification. New donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health. Prior donors must weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also should eat a good meal before their appointment and drink plenty of water the day before and day of the drive. Whole blood donations take 30-40 minutes.

The blood centers are also in need of new platelet donors. Platelet donations take anywhere from 90-120 minutes. 

Platelets are continuously in high demand in northern Colorado, Zobel said.

“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.”

The year-round need for blood products exists mostly for those with chronic diseases, especially cancer patients, who often need platelet transfusions, Zobel said. But summer brings more outdoor activity and more traumas, especially motorcycle and car wrecks, that make the demand for blood supplies and platelet supplies even more severe.

More information about eligibility requirements, the donation process and donation center hours is posted at http://bit.ly/uchealthblood.

All blood donated through UCHealth’s Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers stays local. It helps patients at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Greeley Hospital, Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center, Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont and Estes Park Health.

 

About UCHealth

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With more than 23,500 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care, full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth is dedicated to providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. With more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

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