Tripler Army Medical Center

       Public Affairs Office Media Release


For Immediate Release                               Contact: Tripler Public Affairs Office, 808-433-5785

Release Number 05-009                                                                                        Jan. 26, 2005




Tripler’s Blood Donor Center faces

increased demand and smaller donor pool


Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office


HONOLULUWhile the demand for blood has increased, Tripler Army Medical Center’s Blood Donor Center has a smaller donor pool to work with, according to Capt. Michael Bukovitz, its director.  The center is now conducting an awareness campaign to increase its donor pool on Oahu. 


“We highly encourage service members, retirees, military family members, and Department of Defense civilian employees to donate, and to donate more often,” Bukovitz said.


Demand has increased, because medical advances have increased the kinds and frequency of lifesaving procedures which require more blood supplies. Ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are also straining the Armed Services Blood Program, of which Tripler is one of 24 centers worldwide. Service members wounded and injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) now receive about 355 units of blood a week from the Armed Services Blood Program.


What’s not well known is that since the Vietnam War, the U.S. Armed Services have relied solely on the Armed Services Blood Program for their blood needs.  Hawaii’s location in the middle of the Pacific also creates a unique challenge. Because blood is perishable, the Tripler program cannot make up shortages by relying on other military blood donation centers on the mainland that are too many miles and hours away. Tripler also doesn’t rely on the well-known Blood Bank of Hawaii program.


For more information on how to donate, call the Tripler blood donor center at 433-6195.





by Leslie Ozawa