Coloradans urged to donate blood as United States see critical shortage again

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:08 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Blood is back to being in a critical shortage across the United States, and Coloradans are urged to donate in this time of need.

11 News spoke with Vitalant (Colorado Springs location at 3670 Austin Bluffs Pkwy #110), which is alerting the public to help reverse a critical blood shortage. This comes after donors responded to the last critical blood shortage in January, which helped blood banks somewhat recover.

“Coloradans are amazing. They really step up in times of need and they’ve been making appointments, filling them and trying to come in and give blood,” said Brooke Way of Vitalant. “But, Vitalant is a nationwide network ... we want to make sure we have the supply ready to go, to wherever it’s needed.”

Vitalant says it typically see a drop in donations around the holidays and summer break, due to people traveling more and being too busy. According to Vitalant, with the number of new donors down sharply by 12% year over year, the number of available donors could drop even lower in the coming weeks during the summer.

“We want to make sure before those disasters and traumas strike that we have the units on our shelves ready to go to help those patients in need. That’s why we need people coming in regularly throughout the year, not just in times of critical need, that way we can help prevent these shortages from happening,” said Way.

In April and May, Vitalant collected nearly 3,000 fewer blood donations in Colorado and about 13,000 fewer nationwide compared to the year prior. So, Vitalant is especially encouraging new donors, and those that haven’t given in a while, to make an appointment to donate blood, plasma or platelets.

“It’s just such an easy thing to do, it’s something to give back. It takes less than an hour of your time,” said Way.

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