FORT STEWART, Ga. - Every day, across the United States, hospitals use hundreds of units of blood during the course of routine surgeries, treatments, and trauma cases. There is no such thing as synthetic blood, so it has to come from somewhere.
Robin Marson, a nurse supervisor on the Savannah Blood Mobile, brought her team of nurses to Fort Stewart March 2.
“There is always a shortage of blood,” said Marson. “Only five percent of the people who are eligible to donate blood, donate blood. A lot of people do self deferrals, they think, ‘I can’t donate because I’m taking blood pressure medicine,’ or ‘I’ve been to the Bahamas.’”
The demand for blood in our region is substantial. Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah uses nearly 1,000 units of blood every month. Every unit of blood donated on the Blood Mobile is kept in the community.
The staff of nurses on the Blood Mobile is able to accept donations at a rate of 10 donators per hour and the blood may be stored for up to 42 days, according to Marson.
All of the myths about donating blood did not stop the soldiers of the Marne Division from coming out in mass to support the community. When the Blood Mobile opened its doors at 11 a.m., there was already a line forming.
For Spc. Jessica Mitchel, a terrain analyst from Oxnard, Calif., assigned to Information and Security Company, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Third Infantry Division, this was a new experience with needles for her.
“It’s something that I’ve never done before,” said Mitchel. “It was offered to me, and I thought it would be a nice thing to do.”
The Blood Mobile comes to Fort Stewart every two months, but donations can still be made by visiting either of the two Savannah Community Blood Bank locations. For more information about blood donation, visit www.igiveblood.com.