Blood Bank of Hawai‘i Returns to Big Island Next Week

September 14, 2020, 8:54 AM HST (Updated September 14, 2020, 8:54 AM)
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Blood Bank of Hawai‘i (BBH) will host a drive on the Big Island for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March.

Collection teams are scheduled to return to Hilo Sept. 22-24 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Cultural Hall, 522 Ponohawai Street. Collections will occur during the following times: Sept. 22, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sept. 24, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plans to host a Kona drive are underway, with dates yet to be confirmed.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Mayor Kim for giving us permission to host our Hawai‘i Island drives this fall,” said Todd Lewis, Blood Bank of Hawai‘i chief operations officer. “Our staff is excited to return, and will do everything possible to make saving lives a safe and enjoyable experience.”

A special call to action for donors with type O blood has been added because Hawai‘i experiences a chronically low supply of this blood type. To stabilize the local supply, BBH is rallying O-negative and O-positive donors. While all blood is needed, O-negative blood is the highest in demand because it’s accepted by everyone, and O-positive blood can be used by anyone with a positive blood type – which is about 80% of local residents. For more information, download the “O-Type People Unite” tool kit here.

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In addition to whole blood donations, healthy donors who have a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and have been symptom-free for 28 days may contact BBH to learn how they can donate their plasma.

“We are grateful for the good work that the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i does, and we’re glad that in this time of the pandemic, that they are stepping up to provide their vital service to our community,” said Mayor Harry Kim.

All neighbor island blood drives ended when the pandemic began in March. BBH began its return to the neighbor islands last month with its Kaua‘i.

In time for increased Neighbor Island registrations, BBH launched a new, updated website this week. The new bbh.org provides a more engaging digital experience for donors and supporters with many new features. The online redesign now allows donors to find and register for a drive on the home page; shares donor and employee stories, and includes a searchable list of our state’s top donors.

Donors interested in giving blood on Hawai‘i Island or O‘ahu may register at bbh.org or call 808-848-4770. In September, donors will receive a coupon for a free taco, courtesy of Taco Bell.

At all locations, additional COVID-19 protocols and procedures recommended by the FDA and CDC will be followed. As a reminder, an appointment is required, as walk-ins can no longer be accommodated.

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