Blood supplies at the Regional Blood Center in Grand Junction are nearing critically low levels, a problem being seen not only in Colorado but much of the US.

Because of the shortage, the Regional Blood Center at St. Mary's Hospital has received requests for blood from two Denver hospitals and the National Blood Exchange.

The summer months typically find blood banks with a lower number of donations, but the recent Independence Day holiday coupled with an increased demand for blood has created a significant shortage.

Jennifer Rhamy, St. Mary's Hospital Regional Blood Center Director says,

Our first priority is to take care of our local patients and our 17 hospitals depending on us. We need to increase our supply to ensure we can care for patients on the Western Slope and then provide blood at a state level and beyond. Medical emergencies don't take holidays. We need blood every minute, every day of the year. It's vital that we are prepared for any need that arises."

The Regional Blood Center asks that anyone who is able, to donate blood this month. The center is open Monday Through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Blood donations are also accepted Saturday 8 a.m until Noon. No appointment is necessary.

The Blood Center is providing free cholesterol screening to those who donate in July.

People can also donate blood at Bloodmobile events scheduled throughout the month in Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Palisade, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Rangely, and Moab.