News: Marines bleed to save lives
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Cherry Point patrons donated blood to the Armed Services Blood Program at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Exchange Feb. 15.
The Armed Services Blood Program provides blood to many different military installations, stateside and overseas, to support active duty, retired military and dependents. The local ASBP is based at U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.
“Donating blood is the best gift you can give and a life-saving opportunity,” said Wendy L. Binder, public affairs specialist and blood donor recruiter for the ASBP. “You can save up to three lives each time you donate.”
Every time blood is donated, phlebotomists, the technicians who draw blood, must determine donor eligibility by asking questions about family and personal health history. The technicians then apply a blood pressure cuff. After applying the cuff, the phlebotomist isolates the vein, inserts a needle and draws one pint of blood.
“Blood is so important,” said Binder. “It can be used to treat people who are (in critical condition) or who need blood. Blood is always needed, and donations are always welcome.”
To combat the side effects of donating blood, doctors advise donors to eat sugary food and drink electrolytes and water.
Jim Reaves, engineering technician and retired staff sergeant, donated a pint of his blood to the ASBP. He said he gives blood as often as he can, so he can continue to serve his country.
The ASBP returns to Cherry Point every 57 days, giving service members and civilian employees the opportunity to donate blood. The next blood drive is scheduled for April 10 at the Naval Health Clinic. For more information, call 910-450-3458.