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Healthy blood donors needed in Colorado as coronavirus impacts supply

While taking novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures, Vitalant is urging healthy Coloradans to donate blood.

DENVER — Amidst novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures, Vitalant is urging healthy individuals in Colorado to donate blood.

Vitalant and other organizations nationwide are scheduling blood drives to ensure patients have the lifesaving blood they need.

As public health officials are enacting a number of measures to limit COVID-19, Vitalant and other blood centers continue to follow policies established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the health and safety of donors and patients.

“Hospitals will be extremely challenged if COVID-19 infections increase," said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Vitalant’s chief medical and scientific officer. "The last thing we want them worrying about is having enough blood for trauma victims and cancer patients. That’s why it’s imperative that healthy individuals donate blood at drives and blood donation sites now."

> Make an appointment: 877-258-4825 or Vitalant.org

Currently, all blood types and components are needed, with a significant need for platelets and type O blood donations. Platelets have a very short shelf life — only five days.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In addition to barring non-healthy individuals from donating, Vitalant is alerting individuals not to donate if they have visited Mainland China, South Korea, Iran and Italy within 28 days, have had a COVID-19 infection, or been exposed to someone suspected of having a COVID-19 infection.

> View the most up-to-date donation eligibility information

“According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of contracting COVID-19 is currently low,” said Vassallo. “Furthermore, due to the nature of the virus, it is highly unlikely that it can be transmitted through blood transfusions.”

Vitalant says giving blood has no impact on the donor's immune system. The  staff also follow rigorous safety and disinfection protocols at its blood drives and donation centers.

“Sick hospital patients rely on blood donors—there is no other source for blood,” said Vassallo said. “We need healthy individuals to donate blood, while following guidance from the CDC and other agencies.”

Healthy individuals can make a blood donation appointment by calling 877-258-4825 or online at Vitalant.org.

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Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto