HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As COVID-19 cases continue to hit triple digits across the state, the Blood Bank of Hawaii is sending out this message: If you had COVID-19, we need your help.
With its new “Fight COVID With COVID” campaign, the organization is asking for donations of convalescent plasma from recovered patients.
The plasma is used to treat those who are hospitalized with the virus.
“This new initiative is to find new donors, so that we can keep our local repository strong,” said Blood Bank of Hawaii President and CEO Kim-Anh Nguyen.
“So that we can treat our hospitalized patients and get them out of the hospital and help us to keep our health system open and allow us to continue to recover as a community.”
Lt. Gov. Josh Green is among those who have beaten the virus and donated plasma.
“For every 100 people that catch COVID and we test them positive, 7 1/2 to 8 people end up in the hospital,” Green said. “These are our brothers and sisters, our moms and dads who can then get treatment from this convalescent plasma.”
The coronavirus has had an especially devastating impact among segments of Hawaii’s population, including Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, and Native Hawaiians.
Nguyen says those affected serve a critical purpose.
“That’s where our recovered patients come from and that’s where we find the heroes. Those that have recovered, they can help us fight COVID-19,” Nguyen said.
The Blood Bank of Hawaii says those who have received the vaccine are not able to donate as research is still being conducted by the Food and Drug Administration.
Donations can be scheduled throughout the week on Oahu and the bank will also be holding drives on the neighbor islands.
If you’re interested in donating, email firstname.lastname@example.org.