FORT IRWIN, Calif — Service to the Armed Forces Division (SAF) of the American Red Cross organized a Blood Drive, Feb. 10. 87 Soldiers, family member, and civilian employees came out to donate blood.
“Every 2 seconds someone needs blood in the united states,” stated Robert Bahler, Account Manager for American Red Cross, Biomedical Services who further explained, “the American Red Cross is responsible for 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and here in Southern California we collect about 800 to 1,000 donations of blood every day.”
The simple act of donating blood, typically an hour process, can save up to three lives. The donation process starts with a registration form, proof of identification, and a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled. After conducting a check of your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse the donation process itself only takes eight to ten minutes. Once the donor has been dressed, with a notable red bandage, refreshments are awaiting to allow the body time to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume.
The blood will be delivered to a Red Cross blood component laboratory where it is processed into several components. Donated red blood cells do not last forever. They have a shelf life of up to 42 days. A healthy donor may donate every 56 days giving the body time replenish itself fully. SAF conducts a blood drive every 6 months on Fort Irwin. To find out more information about donating contact your local Red Cross or visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood.