Guam – U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam held a christening ceremony for its new blood donor center in the hospital’s laboratory in Agana Heights, Guam Jan. 26.
“We need blood banks to support our patients here,” said Lt. John Stephan, USNH Guam blood bank officer. “Most importantly, it’s to provide them blood products in case of surgeries or any kind of trauma that comes in. We’re there to provide support.”
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Karla Manuel, of USNH Guam, was the first to have her blood drawn and donated in the new center.
“I think it’s a good cause,” said Manuel. “Your blood gets split into different components, so the one pint you donate can save a few lives.”
Before the opening of the center, USNH Guam received blood donations from Okinawa, Japan.
“Now that we have our own blood donor center here, we can go out, we can collect blood and we have it available within a shorter period of time than it would be to get it from Okinawa,” Stephan said.
The new center will help to meet a great demand for something anyone could need at any time.
“Ninety-six percent of the population relies on four percent of the population to donate blood,” said Lt. Cmdr. Josephine Fajardo, the hospital’s laboratory department head. “We need to make that four percent grow.”
The blood donor center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the hospital’s laboratory.
“I really look forward to the future of continuing and expanding our donor collections on the island,” Stephan said.