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As blood donations drop to record lows, one Colorado doctor urges people to give

World Blood Donor Day raises awareness about the need for safe blood
World Blood Donor Day raises awareness about the need for safe blood 02:53

Donating blood is important every day, but as one Colorado doctor tells us, World Blood Donor Day, June 14, is especially important to remind people that it's crucial as it gets hot outside and people are on vacation. 

"Today is important because it remind[s] people to keep donating every day. The donations have dropped to the lowest they've ever been in the United States. Approximately, only three percent of people who can donate, donate. That's not enough to truly support all of the needs of everyone who needs blood, particularly during summer and holidays," says Dr. Amy Schmidt, Director of Blood Banking and Transfusion Services at Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center.


In January, the American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage. Right now, Schmidt tells us donations dipped during the pandemic because of things like blood drive closures at schools, and never got back on track.

Back in August 2023, the Red Cross officially adopted updated rules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration covering blood donations to allow sexually active gay and bisexual men. Schmidt says, this increased blood donations, but more importantly, "It [made] a defining mark where everyone is being treated equally. We now have one donation form for everyone with the same questions."

It's not just blood that the Red Cross needs. It's platelets and plasma. 

"A person can donate platelets twice a week. It takes a little bit more time, but we really need them as people with cancer can use up to five platelets per week."

If you'd like to donate, click here for more information.

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