Blood bank
employee does
her part

Laurie Aranetta feels her job
helps to make a difference

I'm a team leader at the Blood Bank of Hawaii. My title is nursing services specialist. I do medical history interviews -- that's required by the (Food and Drug Administration) -- and phlebotomies, that's the medical term for the blood collection processes.

I've worker here for 27 months, a little more. I've always wanted to get into nursing. I wanted to make a difference. And the people who come in here, I think they know that. We're out to do the same thing; the people who come in and the people who work here are out to help the people who need blood.

Sept. 11 was chaotic. Everyone was stunned by what happened. Nine-eleven is a day that everyone will never forget. We had extra beds set up, extra history areas to take care of people. We had lines that were formed out the door at 6:30 in the morning. Within no time, hundreds of people were waiting. We had people who were shuttling cars. We had volunteers who were helping out, giving refreshments and everything. Everyone was really understanding and patient.

It made me feel like I wanted to do this even more.

Normally we get about 180 donors a day. On Sept. 11 we took 407 units. There were more people who came in, but that's how many pints we ended up with.

On Sept 12 we did 397 pints; on Sept. 13, 398; Sept. 14, 397; Sept. 15, 219; and Sept. 16 we did 157.

The second day, when it looked like there was a low survival rate, we asked people to spread it out, not to come in all at the same time. It went back to what it was.

Two hundred and fifty pints a day is our goal. That's what we'd like to have for Hawaii's needs. Just for our tragedies that happen here: Car accidents, surgeries, people who are getting cancer treatment, they need a lot of blood.

One donation helps three people. Donors get a little physical when they come in. The process takes about an hour. The actual collection time takes about 5-10 minutes

We want to provide a safe and adequate blood supply for Hawaii patients' needs. Hopefully it doesn't take a tragedy like Sept. 11 for people to come in. There are people who live here who need blood everyday without it being on the news and everything.

Blood Bank of Hawaii

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