ASBP: Navy Supports “Army’s” Biggest Blood Drive
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Navy Supports “Army’s” Biggest Blood Drive

02/05/2018
By Dave Conrad and Donna Onwona, ASBP blood donor recruiters
Even though the Armed Services Blood Program blood drive at West Point, Jan. 8-11, may have been the Army’s biggest blood drive of the year, the staff working the drive demonstrated that the program is truly a joint organization that supports all the Services.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Aaron Lake, stationed at Joint Base Lewis McCord, Washington, was part of the ASBP team that interviewed candidates to ensure they were eligible to donate during the drive. Lake is part of the Armed Services Blood Bank Center - Pacific Northwest staff at JBLM.

“I do interviews and make sure all of the paperwork is good-to-go,” Lake said. “I go through all of their answers, I review their vital signs and make sure they’re safe to donate, and that it will be safe for the potential patients that receive their blood.”

Before donating blood, all candidates go through a rigorous screening process, including blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin tests to ensure that the procedure is safe for the donor, and a medical and personal history questionnaire to make sure it is safe to add their blood to the nation’s supply.

The ASBP is governed by strict Food and Drug Administration guidelines to maintain safety and quality of blood and blood products.. Along with FDA guidelines, they follow the standards, procedures, recommendations and guidelines of the AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks.

Lake’s duties at JBLM cover the entire donation process.

“The donor center [ASBBC-PNW] is tri-service; Army, Navy and Air Force,” Lake said. “I work on the mobile team, but I also work in processing, so I work on collections, getting whole units on blood drives. But once I get back to the center, I also process it into all of our different products, and then ship it out to all the bases that need it.”

Today’s ASBP consists of approximately 30 blood banks and more than 20 FDA licensed blood donor centers around the globe. As a joint operation among the Army, Navy and Air Force, the ASBP has many components working together to collect, process, store, distribute and transfuse blood worldwide.

Because of that, they rely on the support of Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines, working together worldwide, to ensure that service members, veterans and their families have the blood and blood products they need.

“We always have to be ready. We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring for us,” Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, director of the ASBP when speaking about readiness. “Our folks are working 24/7 to make sure we can support any contingency operation around the world.”

All the Services working together to get lifesaving blood processed, tested and ready for use, is what makes it a truly purple program. When it comes to donations, rank and service doesn’t matter; only that it goes to a fellow brother or sister in arms who is in need.

Go Army. Go Navy. Go donate.

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.