If your new year’s resolution was to volunteer more, then now is your time to shine. The blood stores at UCHealth are critically low and they are requesting people consider donating in the next three weeks to bolster supplies and save lives.

According to a press release, UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers have been experiencing particularly difficult donation lulls, hitting patients where it hurts when they need it most.

The holidays and new year schedule changes usually cause donor numbers to drop for most blood centers, but with the additional obstacle of pandemic precautions, clinics have found themselves facing stringent shortages and increased numbers of patients.

Kaitlin Zobel, the donor recruiter for the UCHealth, is now asking the public to consider starting the new year with a donation, especially in such medically trying times. “This is a good year to resolve to make a difference in someone else’s life when they need the most,” Zobel said. “And I can’t think of a better way than this. Every time you donate blood you can save up to three lives in less than an hour.”

This is especially true if you have A and O blood types, though, of course, the center needs all the donations they can get, including those of whole blood and platelets.

If you’d like to help your fellow Coloradans, you can schedule a time to donate blood at 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins or at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., in Loveland. To do so, call 970-680-8053.

We will be open on Saturday, January 23rd 9:00am-4:00pm at our Fort Collins locations. We have plenty of appointments...

Posted by UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

However, do keep in mind that you must be at least 18 years of age (or 17, as long as you have your parent’s permission) and have a photo ID to donate. You should also weigh at least 120 pounds and, obviously, be healthy—Don’t come in if you’ve caught a case of the sniffles. Or the Rona, that, too. If you’ve donated before, you only have to weight at least 110 pounds. Otherwise, if you sign up to donate, be sure to eat a good meal before your appointment and stay hydrated both before and after the withdrawal. Also, be prepared to sit for a while, since donations tend to take 30-40 minutes. If you have any other questions about how donating blood works, feel free to check UCHealth’s website.

The process for donating platelets is a bit different from a standard blood donation, but just as critical for helping those with chronic diseases (i.e. cancer), blood disorders, transplants, and major procedures and injuries. If you’re a real hero and end up donating your platelets, be sure to bring your new year’s resolution novel, as those can take from 90-120 minutes.

Hospital staff expect this lull to hold for several weeks, so you have plenty of time to make an appointment through the rest of the month. Then you’ll have the warm glow of knowing you’ve saved multiple lives in your community, as all donations from UCHealth’s donation centers go to local hospitals, including Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center, Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont and Estes Park Health.

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