Memorial Blood Drive held Sept. 11
A person can save up to three lives by donating blood. The Kendrick Memorial Blood Center staff members carry out the blood collection, processing, storage, and distribution to support those deployed and local military medical treatment facilities.
“It’s for a good cause when there’re a lot of missions are taking place in other nations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Llewellyn, a combat engineer with the Army Reserve.
When blood supplies are low, the military has to purchase from outside blood collection centers. Blood collected for the Armed Services Blood Program is sent overseas and used at area civilians and military hospitals. Blood requested by local civilian hospitals is offered at no cost from the military, which baffles Sgt. Robert Llewellyn, Fort Gordon BOSS president.
“If ASBP needs blood we need to donate it,” he said.
All types of blood are needed, most of all O and AB blood types from eligible donors.
To donate blood, donors must meet certain health and time requirements after travel to countries outside the U.S. The criteria for donors was established for the protection of the individuals who go through the process of donating and those who receive transfusions as regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Individuals must be well hydrated, weigh more than 110 pounds, and be over the age of 17 in good health. Travel restrictions defer possible donors for a specific period of time, and travel to some counties during a certain time period defer individuals from donating indefinitely.
Before donating, individuals must go through a pre-screening to meet eligibility. At registration, eligible donors answer question and are entered into the Defense Blood Standard System. A short physical assessment is done to record a person’s weight, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. A small prick on the finger is done to test a small sample of blood for their hemoglobin level. After a short interview to confirm eligibility, donors are really to move on a chair and begin the donation of blood, which takes 10 minutes.
“The BOSS is good at coordinating events with the hospital for us,” said Erin Longacre, ASBP blood donor recruiter at the Kendrick Memorial Blood Center.
Individuals can also donate blood at the center by appointment or as a walk-in Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.militaryblodd.dod. mil, or call 787-3234.