Camp Smith hosts blood drive[MIGRATE]

By Pfc. Bernadette L. Ainsworth | May 10, 2004

A blood drive was held at Camp Smith's Pollack Theater May 4 to support troops in the Middle East.

Tripler Army Medical Center's Mobile Blood Donation Unit drew more than 40 units of blood from Camp Smith's personnel during the three hour drive.

"If we get more than 30 units of blood, the drive is considered a success," said Capt. Michael A. Bukovitz, officer in charge, TAMC, Blood Donor Center.

After a blood drive, the blood is taken back to TAMC where most is used.

"All the blood we collect at blood drives or in our donor center, goes to military personnel, dependants, retirees and some is shipped overseas in support of operations contingencies," said Bukovitz.

Over the past three months, TAMC has provided blood to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, due to a decrease in donors on the mainland, according to Bukovitz.

"We don't have to send it all the time, but since the war began, there has been a decrease in military donors and sometimes they need

our blood," said Bukovitz.

Although TAMC hosts three to four blood drives a week due to the high demand for blood, sometimes there isn't enough and they are forced to buy it.  It cost $98 to buy one unit of blood from the Blood Bank of Hawaii, the only other source of blood on the island.

The Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donation Center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  To make an appointment call Transfusion Services at 433-6195.  Walk-ins are also welcome.