DENVER — Nonprofit blood bank Vitalant has declared a critical blood shortage and is urging Coloradans to donate.

Vitalant said Monday blood providers nationwide have less than a two days’ supply of necessary blood types.

The busy holiday season resulted in over 21,000 fewer donations than expected, according to Vitalant. 

“We strive to maintain a 4-day supply of blood just to provide what patients need, and currently we’re at less than half that for certain blood types,” said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Chief Medical Officer at Vitalant. “Blood on the shelf helps patients every day—for traumas, cancer treatments and critical transfusions—and enables us to be ready if disaster strikes.”

> Visit to register to donate

All blood types and components are in short supply, with a special need for platelets and type O blood donations. Platelets have a very short shelf life — only five days, said Vitalant.

In the Colorado region, more than 3,500 blood products need to be collected by Vitalant each week to meet local patient needs.

Due to the critical shortage, donors are strongly encouraged to give blood as soon as possible by calling 877-258-4825 (877-25-VITAL) or going online to

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