MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Combat Center personnel participated in a blood drive hosted by Desert Blood Services at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital parking lot Dec. 11, 2013. The blood drive was open to anyone willing to donate.
Desert Blood Services visits the Combat Center approximately once a month. DBS’s mobile donation station enables them to park in various locations throughout installation allowing more personnel to donate.
“We love coming to visit the service members and families aboard this base,” said Caroline Paxton, registered nurse, DBS. “It is amazing to see how willing our service members are to donate. Not only are they fighting for their country but they are helping save lives by donating to our organization.”
The donated blood is given to people in need and may also be separated into plasma, red blood cells, and platelets, to facilitate more use from one donor.
According to Paxton, sometimes people will not need the blood but will need a part of the blood. By donating one pint of blood, the donator may be helping to save up to three people.
Although the blood saves lives, there is a necessary criterion, which needs to be met in order to donate. Some of the most well-known things to make a person ineligible are; tattoos, sexually transmitted diseases, and travel or birth in other countries.
Once a person is eligible to donate, their blood pressure, temperature and pulse is taken and they give a small blood sample to ensure they’re not anemic. They then lie down and their arm will be cleansed with an antiseptic wipe. A sterile needle is then used to collect the pint of blood to be donated. The donator is offered snacks and drinks after they are done. They are also given a t-shirt thanking them for their donation.
“It feels good to donate,” said Staff Sgt. Salvador Cavan, unmanned aerial system technician, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3. “It is a fairly quick process and it may save a life. Why wouldn’t someone want to donate?”