AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Children’s Hospital Colorado is sending out a call for help. A call that could help save lives and typically costs the donor only time.

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

“We use almost 97% self-sufficient, and we collect 97% of the blood that we use at Children’s Hospital of Colorado,” Dr. Kyle Annen said.

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Annen tells us there’s a constant need for blood donation at Children’s Hospital. Pre-COVID, donors regularly came in, and there was a fair supply. Then the coronavirus pandemic began.

“We were really fortunate in that we had a lot of people who were really eager to come in. We had some struggles then, we put the call out but now it seems we’re just having a harder time and getting people to come in,” she said.

As the pandemic has stretched on, it’s putting a bigger strain on the pipeline.

(credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

“We’ve had a lot of patients who have been high-need patients, they will for example need more platelets in a day than we expect someone in their position to need,” Annen explained.

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So, Children’s Hospital is once again pleading for help. This Saturday the hospital is extending their hours for collection, 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe.

“If someone has already had COVID, we ask that they be symptom-free for 28 days,” Annen added.

The hospital also can’t accept donations if potential donors live with someone who is positive. As it seems, the number of volunteers may not have changed, but COVID-19 has made things more complicated.

“So when we run into a shortage like this, it’s really difficult to get platelets from another location because we don’t have the ability to get a priority to get those platelets,” Annen said.

(credit: CBS4)

Dr. Annen hopes as people prepare for Thanksgiving, possibly to give or help, they’ll consider giving blood, if they’re able to do so.

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The drive runs Nov. 21 and Nov. 28, 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Jacqueline Quynh