The holidays may be over in our daily lives, but the blood donation centers at UCHealth are still suffering from seasonal shortages.

These shortages often escalate around the winter time because of increased traveling and illnesses, which can prevent people from donating blood.

"We always need blood...we always use it. Blood lasts 42 days...the need just never goes away," said Kaitlin Zobel, the blood donor recruiter at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Centers. "[The holidays are] a tough time...we're scrounging."

She noted that the hospitals are especially in need of type O blood, because O negative blood is a universal donor, while majority of the population has O positive blood.

Thankfully, UCHealth makes it fairly easy to donate blood.

Appointments can be made at either Garth Englund blood donor center by calling (970)-680-8053 or by emailing donateblood@uchealth.org, as long as you are healthy and weigh at least 120 pounds.

A typical blood donation takes about 40 minutes, with part of that time going towards a health evaluation. This will allow the staff to make sure you are well enough to give blood.

If you are able to give blood, the process is quick. An individual can usually get back to their routine shortly after if they are hydrated and adequately fed.

For those who are scared of needles, there is no need to worry.

"Just give yourself a pinch and that is pretty much how it feels like," said Zobel. "It's a 10 minute process or less and you're saving up to two lives with that. Whoever is receiving my blood is in a way worse situation than I am."

Even though the holidays are a particularly hard time for the blood donation centers, UCHealth is in need of blood all year round.

You can sign up to become a regular donor and give blood every eight weeks here. 

To learn more about the blood donation process and why it is important, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Kaitlin Zobel below.

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