USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea –
In partnership with the Korean National Red Cross, U.S. Forces Korea hosted a blood drive at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea on July 21, 2021, to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply for patients in need.
The blood drive marks the second of its kind since a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the USFK Command Surgeon and the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) Director General on Dec. 19, 2019 at USAG Humphreys. Sixty-five people donated blood, and it came in a time of need as the COVID-19 has left blood supplies low.
In general, individuals can donate every 56 days because it takes 56 days for the body to replace the volume donated. Blood drives are scheduled approximately every three months to allow donors to fully recover.
This means U.S. donors can help increase the supply of readily available Rh Negative blood types in the Korean blood supply.
Col. Douglas Lougee, USFK Command Surgeon USFK Command Surgeon
Since the onset of COVID19, an unprecedented number of blood drives were canceled, resulting in an opportunity for Korean and US Forces to work together and negate this shortage of available blood and blood products in South Korea. The donated blood collected by KNRC will be used at civilian and military hospitals throughout Korea.
“In general, the Korean population has a very low incidence of Rh Negative blood types. Approximately 0.3 percent of Koreans have Rh Negative blood whereas about 20 percent of the U.S. population is Rh Negative,” USFK command surgeon Col. Douglas Lougee, M.D. said. “This means U.S. donors can help increase the supply of readily available Rh Negative blood types in the Korean blood supply.”
“COVID-19 is serious business and the USFK’s stance is non-negotiable in Force Health Protection and Korean Health Protection. All Korean Disease Control Agency guidelines are in place and strictly followed,” Col. Lougee said.
Numerous preventive measures are taken in the blood donation bus and at various points throughout the donation process to limit the possible risk of the spread of coronavirus. Throughout the blood drive event, COVID guidelines are enforced to include 6-foot spacing while the KNRC staff members, donors and volunteers wear face masks during the process.
“Regularly scheduled blood donation from U.S. troops stationed in Korea helps to ensure a stable blood supply here, so I hope it will be expanded to other units in addition to Camp Humphreys,” Huh, Boo-ja, Gyeonggi-do Red Cross Blood Center Director, said.
“I would like to thank the USFK Command and officials who participated in the blood donation that can help save lives.”
Huh, Boo-ja, Gyeonggi-do Red Cross Blood Center Director
USFK demonstrates deep support of our alliance in blood donation support to Korean troops and families. USFK is planning regularly scheduled blood drives to help stabilize the country’s blood supply. The next blood drive is set to be conducted at Camp Carroll an U.S. Army base in Waegwan, North Gyeongsang Province in October 2021.