DENVER — The American Red Cross has declared its first ever national blood crisis because of a low national blood supply due to the pandemic.
The Red Cross said it's seen a 10% decline in the number of people donating blood since the pandemic began. Donor turnout is down, blood drives have been canceled and there have been staffing shortages, the organization said.
Vitalant said it is experiencing the national blood shortage in Colorado. The organization is urging all healthy Colorado donors to make an appointment to donate blood regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Those who have had COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 14 days are also eligible to donate at Vitalant.
Vitalant said even if Colorado donors can't get an appointment right away, their appointment and donation in the coming days and weeks is critical to helping patients in need.
The Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies said in a joint statement that blood centers nationwide have reported less than a one-day’s supply of some critical blood types in the past few weeks.
Here's where you can sign up to donate blood in Colorado:
As one of the largest blood donor organizations in the United States, Vitalant has donation centers in Denver, Colorado Springs, Golden, Boulder, Greeley, Littleton, Parker, Westminster and Highlands Ranch. Vitalant also holds regularly-occurring mobile locations and pop-up blood drives.
You can make an appointment at a Vitalant donation center or blood drive in Colorado or Cheyenne online at vitalant.org or by calling 877-25-VITAL.
More than 95% of the more than 8,000 units of blood used each year at Children's Hospital Colorado comes from its Blood Donation Center. Children’s Colorado’s Blood Donor Center is located at the hospital on Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, on the first floor of the Administrative Pavilion
The hospital needs donors who represent all four blood types: O, A, B and AB and accepts whole blood donations and apheresis platelet donations.
Appointments to donate blood can be made by calling 720-777-5398.
UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center
Blood donations at Fort Collins' UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center support patients at multiple hospitals in northern Colorado: Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, Greeley Hospital, Longs Peak Hospital, and Estes Park Medical Center.
Appointments can be scheduled online at uchealth.org or by calling 970-495-8965.
St. Mary's Medical Center
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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