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    An Appreciation for Every Drop at Naval Hospital Bremerton

    An Appreciation for Every Drop at Naval Hospital Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | when eagles fly…Naval Hospital Bremerton was recognized Jan. 24, 2022, by Armed...... read more read more

    When Naval Hospital Bremerton’s (NHB) Labor and Delivery recently went on divert status due to a nation-wide shortage of blood products, the local outcry brought into focus a crucial service impacted by COVID-19: Blood drives.

    Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta and omicron variant(s), a hesitation from many regular donors and dwindling supplies, the Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Pacific Northwest (ASBBC-PNW) has continued to coordinate with commands to provide critical blood supplies for those in need.

    ASBBC-PNW recognized NHB Jan. 24, 2022, for being instrumental in organizing, promoting and holding blood drives, especially during the time COVID shut down collection efforts during 2020 and continued to effect donation attempts during 2021.

    “NHB might be small [command], but its mighty. They always show up and are one of few we could count on to collect after the pandemic forced us to shut down,” said Army Maj. Juan E. Guzman, ASBBC-PNW chief.

    According to Victor L. Shermer, ASBBC-PNW blood donor recruiter and public affairs, NHB collected 297 units of blood in 11 blood drives held during 2020 and 2021.

    “NHB achieved the most collections during that time,” Shermer said. “The Navy has always been a good partner and this command has been so proactive in providing donations.”

    “Without the Navy’s support, led by NHB, we would not be able to provide for our troops. That’s how significant NHB’s contributions have been,” added Guzman.

    Keeping those contributions flowing, NHB will be hosting another quarterly blood drive on the Quarterdeck (main lobby of the hospital) this upcoming Monday, January 31, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    In order to maintain social distancing, donations will only be done on an appointment basis with limited phlebotomy chairs. An appointment can be made online:, or via:

    “In light of the national blood shortage we are trying to heavily promote this upcoming blood drive to try to fill up all the spots,” stated Hospitalman Margaret Strah, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton Blood Donor Recruiter and medical laboratory technician.

    According to Strah, those who received a vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer are eligible to donate as long as they are symptom-free and fever-free. For those who received a AstraZeneca or J&J vaccine, a two-week wait after being vaccinated is required to be considered eligible to donate. For those not sure which vaccine they received, it is required to wait at least two weeks after being vaccinated to be considered eligible to donate. For those who have tested positive for COVID-19, they are eligible to donate two weeks after having no symptoms.

    One unit (or pint) of blood can save up to three lives, and that unit can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. The red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. Plasma is a mixture of water, protein and salts, and makes up 55 percent of actual blood volume. Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and forms of cancer the chance to live. Cryoprecipitate is collected from plasma that has been frozen, then thawed, and acts as a coagulation agent.

    With a minimum of 56 days required between whole blood donations, another option besides donating quarterly at NHB is available at ASBBC-PNW on Joint Base Lewis McCord. An appointment can be made by calling 253-968-1850, with hours of operations Monday through Friday, 8:40 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    The overall mission of the ASBBC-PNW is to operate a Tri-Service staffed regional blood donor center which collects, tests, and distributes blood and blood components in support of contingency and peacetime operations worldwide.

    NHB, as well as the actual donors, are helping to make that happen.

    One unit at a time.



    Date Taken: 01.24.2022
    Date Posted: 01.25.2022 11:06
    Story ID: 413375
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

    Web Views: 252
    Downloads: 1