One last gift?

Seasonal lull in donations impacts local blood supplies in northern Colorado
Dec. 26, 2017
Babs Finkle makes a donation in 2016. Seasonal lull impacts local blood supplies.
Babs Finkle makes a donation in 2016 at the UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Donation Center in Fort Collins. Garth Englund officials recently announced that local blood supply levels are low because of the holidays and encouraged residents to make an appointment to donate blood. Photo courtesy of UCHealth.


FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Dec. 26, 2017) – Officials at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers are asking the public to consider giving one last gift this holiday season: the lifesaving gift of a blood donation.

Holiday activities, travel, and seasonal illnesses often prevent people from sticking to their regular blood donation schedules in December and January, according to Larisa Maristany, the supervisor at the blood donor centers. The seasonal lull impacts local blood supplies when the needs of patients remain steady. Facing low blood supplies in northern Colorado, Maristany and her team are encouraging eligible donors to end the year – or start the new year – with real meaning by donating blood for hospital patients in need.

Fort Collins resident Linda Maher knows first-hand the importance of blood donations. In November 2015, she suffered life-threatening injuries in a car crash. She needed 22 units of blood and platelets as surgeons repaired her bladder, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and pelvis at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

“You just never know when it could be you,” she said. “And you take for granted that there will always be a supply, but that’s not the real truth.”

Donations of all blood types are needed and important, Maristany said. However, the center especially needs donors with the following blood types:

  • O and A blood types – These are needed the most. Whole blood donations take about 45 minutes.
  • AB and B blood types – These are needed for platelet donations. This type of donation takes about two hours for those who qualify.

Donations can be scheduled at either of Garth Englund’s blood donor centers in northern Colorado – the center at 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins or the center at MCR, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., in Loveland. Interested donors should call 970.495.8965 to schedule an appointment at either of these locations over the next couple weeks.

To donate, a person must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with a parent’s permission) and show a photo identification. New donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health. Prior donors must weigh at least 110 pounds. More information about eligibility requirements, the donation process, and donation center hours are posted on the blood donations section of our website.

All blood donated through UCHealth 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 Emergency and Surgery Center and Estes Park Medical Center.

About the author

Kelly Tracer is a media relations specialist at UCHealth, based in northern Colorado. For nearly 20 years, she worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and designer before diving into the world of health care communications.

She believes there is an amazing story inside everyone and considers it an honor to get to meet and work with so many extraordinary people – patients, families, providers, volunteers and staff – every day. She is also fascinated by health care innovation and programs that empower and inspire people and families to live healthier lives.

A native of Nebraska, Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She and her husband have two children and enjoy paddle boarding all summer and skiing all winter.