COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado continues to navigate the worst blood shortage crisis our country has faced in over a decade. Vitalant Blood Donation says the number of those giving blood is growing, but they continue to feel the lasting impacts of COVID.
Now, blood banks say they're looking for healthy seniors to help make up for lost donations.
"There is no substitute for blood. One donation can save up to three lives and every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion so it is extremely critical," says Brooke Way with Vitalant Blood Donation.
The American Red Cross has declared it the largest blood shortage in over a decade, and it's posing a concerning risk to patient care.
"We are still seeing blood drives being canceled because of Covid-19," says Way. "We are seeing less appointments available because of staffing shortages so we are dealing with these types of things but we are making it still as convenient as possible for donors to come in."
Way is urging all Coloradans to make an appointment to give blood, especially healthy seniors who have the time.
"It is something to do to give back, it is just an hour of your time to give whole blood so I think it is a good thing to add to your schedule regularly and especially if you are retired it is something you can build into your schedule to just have a regular donation appointment with us," says Way.
According to Way, some have consistently given blood during their lifetime.
"We have some that have hit just crazy amounts of gallons of donations," says Way. "We have someone approaching 90 gallons with us and that is definitely because they've been donating for years and years throughout their lifetime."
Seniors are never too old to give blood. A general rule of thumb is if you are in good health you can donate. For more information on requirements and how to set up an appointment click here.