Blood Donations Dropping Amid Coronavirus Concerns

UCHealth Urges Healthy People to Donate Blood

Local blood supplies are in danger of getting low soon, and the novel coronavirus could be to blame. So, officials at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Centers are urging the public to consider donating blood to help save lives.

Blood supplies typically drop a bit this time of year nationally because cold and flu season keep some regular donors from being able to come in. But an additional decline in donations related to coronavirus concerns is starting to hit right as hospitals are standing ready to care for an increasing number of patients with COVID-19, according to Kaitlin Zobel the recruiter for the blood centers in northern Colorado.

“It is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives, so we need to stay ahead of this,” Zobel said.

That’s why UCHealth officials are calling on healthy people in northern Colorado who are able to schedule an appointment to donate blood sometime in the next three weeks.

 “So many people are wondering how they can help others who are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak and giving blood is a great way to make a difference. An hour of one person’s time could save up to two lives,” Zobel said.

Donations of all blood types are needed and important at this time.

Donations can be scheduled at Garth Englund’s blood donor center at 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins. Officials expect the need will be ongoing for the several weeks. Interested donors should call 970.680.8053 to schedule the appointment.

To donate, a person must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with a parent’s permission) and show 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. The year-round need for blood products exists mostly for those with chronic diseases, especially cancer patients, who often need platelet transfusions.

More information about eligibility requirements, the donation process and donation center hours is posted at 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.

Please visit www.uchealth.org/coronavirus for more announcements and stories on the novel coronavirus outbreak and what you can do to protect yourself and others. For the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 in Colorado, visit the CDPHE’s web site at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus.

 

 

About UCHealth

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth includes more than 24,500 employees, 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. Offering 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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