News: Army Reserve fills need with blood donation
Story by Capt. Chad Nixon
FORT DOUGLAS, Utah – Blood donation is a simple way to impact the local community. With January being National Blood Awareness Month soldiers and civilians at Fort Douglas, Utah, wanted to do just that.
While researching information on how to hold a blood drive, Capt. Addie Randolph, an Army Reserve soldier with the 76th Operational Response Command, discovered that even the weather can cause havoc with blood collection.
“There has been unpredictable weather on the east coast causing the Red Cross to cancel blood drives,” said Randolph, “these closures require the Red Cross to reach to the west for support.”
With a little hard work and coordination Randolph recruited volunteers from Reserve units stationed at Fort Douglas.
Capt. Erik Thomasgard assigned to the 807th Medical Command was first in line to volunteer support.
“As commander it is my job to set the example for others to follow,” said Thomasgard, “if 15 minutes of my day can potentially save a life, then it’s well worth it.”
The American Red Cross began collecting blood donations in 1940 and conducts on average more than 200,000 drives per year.
According to Andrew Brown, a Team Donation supervisor with the Red Cross, blood donation does more than just provide transfusions. “One donation can potentially help three different people. Red cells, plasma and cryoprecipitate can all be removed to help treat multiple diseases.”
To date medical science is still unable to create blood, making donations vital to fill the need.
“Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood,” said Brown, “the actions of the few can help the many.”
For more facts and information on blood donation visit http://www.redcross.org/