Urgent Call For Blood Donations After Blizzard Shut Down Blood Donation Centers & Drives

Colorado's Sunday blizzard had a big impact on our blood supply. Donation center closures and blood drive cancellations resulted in hundreds of missed donations.

Video Transcript

JIM BENEMANN: Sunday's Blizzard had a big impact on our community's blood supply, with donation centers closed and blood drives canceled, hundreds of scheduled donations just didn't happen. Our health specialist, Cathy Walsh, live at the Vitalant Blood Donation Center in Lowry. And Kathy, the centers are putting out a plea for help right now.

KATHY WALSH: That's right, Jim. Vitalant is urging people to help replenish the blood supply. Because of the blizzard, well, they're down more than 600 units of blood.

BROOKE WAY: We need blood every single day.

KATHY WALSH: On Tuesday, there was a steady stream of blood donors at the Vitalant Donation Center in Lowry. There was also a call to action. The blizzard forced the closure of four donation centers. Others had delayed openings, and 10 blood drives were canceled along Colorado's front range. Storm-related problems meant about 650 missed donations. Brooke Way is Communications Manager with Vitalant.

BROOKE WAY: In our region alone, we need 450 units to help patients in need every single day.

RUTH ANN SCHUMANN: 24 years.

KATHY WALSH: That's how long Ruth Ann Schumann has been giving blood regularly.

RUTH ANN SCHUMANN: It's easy. You get to watch a movie.

KATHY WALSH: Ruth Ann said she gives because it saves lives. On this day, she's donating platelets, definitely in need. And Vitalant is asking for all blood types, O negative, especially.

BROOKE WAY: Because it's the universal blood type, and that can be used in emergencies. So if there is a trauma in an emergency room, they're going to reach for that O negative blood type.

KATHY WALSH: Type O negative blood can be given to nearly any patient, regardless of blood type. If you missed your appointment because of the storm, Vitalant is asking that you please reschedule, like Keith did here. And if you've never given blood before, they're asking that you give it a try. In Denver, I'm Kathy Walsh covering Colorado first.

JIM BENEMANN: All right.