Three blood drives on Kaua‘i in high gear to pump state supply

LIHU‘E — The Blood Bank of Hawai‘i will host three blood drives for Kaua‘i today through Wednesday.

Today, BBH will set up shop from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., in the Band Room of Waimea High School.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, BBH will be drawing blood in Lihu‘e at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall. Donors are needed Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

To make an appointment call 848-4770. While all donors are welcome, there are a limited number of donation beds and people dropping in may face a waiting period.

Kaua‘i residents and visitors can give blood, which is pooled and used community-wide throughout the state. Donors are allowed to give blood every eight weeks.

In Hawai‘i, only 2 percent of the eligible population donates blood and more donors are always needed.

Donors should drink eight to 10 glasses of water, get adequate rest, eat hearty meals high in iron-rich foods such as lean meats and leafy green vegetables and limit caffeine and alcohol, according to BBH. Donors should also know of any medical conditions they have and any current medications. Most medications will not prohibit someone from donating.

Donors are required to wait one year from the time they were last tattooed or received a body piercing to donate. In addition, donors who have traveled internationally require a waiting period that varies with the specific area and length of stay.

With the start of the school year, the BBH notes that young donors are increasingly important to continuing the tradition of giving blood by the loyal World War II generation and baby boomers.

During the 2011-12 school year, 94 Hawai‘i high schools hosted blood drives, at which a total of 4,844 pints were collected.

“We are grateful to our high school students for their time and efforts in planning and executing efficient and effective blood drives,” BBH Vice President Wendy Abe said. “The contributions from young lifesavers over the past school year helped save the lives of 14,532 patients statewide.”

Every day in Hawai‘i, hundreds of patients count on volunteer blood donors for their survival. Typical uses for the donated blood include surgical procedures; treatment of accident victims and chemotherapy patients; and mothers and newborns during delivery.

Because each donation is separated into three different components — red blood cells, platelets and plasma — a single donation can help save the lives of up to three people.  

The donation process is safe and usually takes about an hour. A confidential interview and a brief vital signs check are administered, but the actual collection of blood takes only five to eight minutes.

Visit or call BBH at 1-800-372-9966 to make an appointment or for more information.


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