COLORADO SPRINGS — Vitalant Blood Donation is making an urget call for blood donors, as its supply has dropped by nearly 50% since the start of summer. This in turn, has created an emergency shortage in Colorado and across the country.

Vitalant said that as the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, typically fewer donors are available, so they are now urging all eligible donors to schedule an appointment for the coming days and weeks.

The emergency shortage is impacting type O blood the most, which Vitalant said is the most frequently used blood type. O-positive blood has frequently fallen to just one day’s supply. However, appointments for all blood types are needed to achieve a sufficient four-day supply of all blood types.

“Hospitals need people to donate during these critical weeks,” said Vitalant Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Ralph Vassallo. “Patient blood needs don’t conform to a predictable schedule. Several patients may experience emergencies, while a planned surgery could suddenly require dozens of units of blood for one patient. Hospitals must have blood available to take care of everyone.”

The FDA recently changed eligibility requirements, and prior to that, donors were unable to donate if they had traveled to France, Ireland, or the United Kingdom due to the risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob or Mad Cow disease. Those donors can now donate with Vitalant.

To check eligibility criteria, or to make an appointment visit Vitalant‘s website, or you can call (877) 258-4825