MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
What if you were told that by giving 10 minutes of your time to donate blood, just one pint, you could save the lives of a parent, spouse and sibling? Would you donate? What if you were told that you would be saving your parent, spouse and sibling?
Whether in peacetime or war, there is always a need for blood, so to help increase the quantity available to help service members and their families, the Armed Services Blood Program aboard the base held a blood drive at Marston Pavilion, Aug. 13.
The quota for the blood drive was 60 pints of blood, and although the weather wasn’t ideal, the rain didn’t put a damper on the drive.
“I consider the blood drive to be a success,” said Joe Jacome, the base blood drive coordinator. “We had 52 (pints) of blood donated in all, and considering the miserable weather, there was a pretty good turnout.”
The ASBPs sole mission is to provide quality blood and services for all U.S. service members and their families worldwide, so it’s vital for people to donate blood.
Even though the weather wasn’t the best to be out and about in, numerous civilians and service members still made there way out to donate.
“I donate every eight weeks, it’s something I always do,” said Navy Lt. Troy Frazee, project engineer with the Officer In Charge of Construction aboard the base. “It’s important to give, whether it’s blood or your time. If I give (blood) now, when I need it one day maybe someone will give for me. I think more people should give blood. It’s an easy way to give back and it doesn’t cost anything.”
It doesn’t cost anything to donate blood, but there is a small process to go through beforehand.
First donors are prescreened and registered. Then they conduct a physical assessment and interview. Next the blood is drawn and refreshments follow. In all, the whole process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
“Blood and blood products are used for patients of all ages for many reasons, and military members and their families depend on blood donors every day,” as stated by the ASBP Web site. “The ASBP supplies blood and blood products for 1.3 million service members and their families across the nation and around the globe every year. This means blood must be available for routine military medical treatment facility operations as well as contingency operations. By committing to give blood at least once a season, you help ensure that blood is available when it’s needed the most.”
It’s easy to donate blood and almost anyone is eligible, but there are some general guidelines that must be met:
-donor must weigh at least 110 pounds
-be at least 17 years of age
-has been feeling well for at least three days
-be well hydrated
-have eaten something prior to donating
For more specific guidelines that can also affect donating blood visit the ASBP Web site.
“As it stands right now, 65 percent of the blood we’ve drawn has already been used,” said Vic Murdy, donor monitor with ASBP aboard the base. “What we are doing is critical. It’s very important people come out to donate their blood.”
For those who have blood types AB+, AB- and O-, there is a strong need for those blood types, said Jacome.
If only one more percent of all Americans donated blood, blood shortages would disappear, as stated by the Web site.
The next blood drive aboard the base is scheduled for Aug. 26 at the Naval Hospital. For more information about the blood drive, donating blood, or to set up an appointment to donate, call Connie Colley at 450-3458 or visit the ASBP Web site at militaryblood.dod.mil.