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Colorado blood donor reaches 80-gallon milestone

Virgil Olson of Colorado has made his 641st blood donation reaching the huge 80-gallon milestone.
Credit: Vitalant

DENVER — Virgil Olson, who has been donating blood since he was 18 years old, has reached a remarkable milestone. The Coloradan reached the 80-gallon milestone on Thursday, March 12.

Olson's 641st blood donation was marked with a celebration on Thursday, March 12 at Vitalant’s Boulder Donation Center at 3113 28th Street.

Virgil is among only a handful of Vitalant blood donors in Colorado who have reached the 80-gallon mark, and he is the first to do so at the Boulder donation center.

Vitalant’s Mountain Division President Anne Burtchaell said a few remarks in Olson's honor before he began donating. Olson’s wife and children were also present to see his momentous occasion. 

Credit: Vitalant

“I know that blood is needed, and it’s no problem for me to donate,” Olson said. “I don’t mind at all, and I’m glad I can stay healthy enough to donate.”

Olson's first of what is now 641 donations with Vitalant dates back to 1960, when he moved to Colorado.

Olson donates platelets regularly and is eligible to donate up to 24 times per year compared to whole blood donors who are limited to six donations each year.

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

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.

Credit: Vitalant

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.

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: Vitalant

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.

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

RELATED: Red Cross urges the healthy to donate blood amid coronavirus concerns

RELATED: Healthy blood donors needed in Colorado as coronavirus impacts supply

Credit: Vitalant


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