Donations down 35%, Blood Bank of Hawaii needs more donors

Coronavirus

According to the Blood Bank of Hawaii, donations are down significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization is asking for Oahu residents to consider donating amid the outbreak.

However, there are a few who continue to go above and beyond.

Super donors like Gerald Yamane keep showing up. Yamane hopes his story will encourage others to come out and donate during these tough times.

This past Sunday was Yamane’s 592nd donation.

“I just do mine every two weeks, and every one of the other regulars, we all feel we have to do our part,” Yamane said.

Yamane has been donating platelets every two weeks for the past 25 years.

“So what the Blood Bank does is they take out my blood, it goes through the machine, centrifuges out the platelets, and gives the blood right back to me,” he explained.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, fewer people are donating blood or platelets.

Blood Bank of Hawaii said it needs 200 donations a day to maintain blood supply. Lately, it is only getting about 130 donations a day, which is a 35% drop in donations.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell stressed that donating blood is an exception to the stay-at-home order.

“Donating blood complies with the stay-at-home order. This is an essential function. Keeping our blood supply strong, particularly during this time of crisis is critical,” Caldwell explained. “We are asking all of our folks, if they can, to donate their blood,” he added.

Blood Bank of Hawaii is also taking safety precautions like spreading out donation chairs to follow social distancing guidelines.

“Blood Bank of Hawaii is working diligently to balance the need of our hospitals with the safety and health of our donors,” said Kim-Anh Nguyen, the CEO of Blood Bank of Hawaii.

Right now, there are no neighbor island blood drives, so Blood Bank of Hawaii is counting on Oahu residents, like Yamane.

“It’s my part. It’s my duty, and its my privilege to be able to be healthy to donate and help other people in their times of need,” Yamane said.

To donate you must make an appointment. To make an appointment, call (808) 848-4770. Visit Blood Bank of Hawaii’s website by clicking here.

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