Local News | Jan. 12, 2022

Blood Needed: Armed Services Blood Program Urges Donors to Step Up

The Armed Services Blood Program says donations are down and is encouraging volunteers to step up and donate blood to replenish the supply.

"Blood supply is critically low across the nation," not only for the ASBP, but for civilian organizations as well, said Army Col. Audra Taylor, the ASBP's division chief. The ASBP provides lifesaving blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans worldwide.

"Historically, donations decrease in the holiday and winter months due to schedule changes, people taking leave, families going on vacation, weather conditions or illnesses impeding people from donating," Taylor said.

"This year, it's all of those things in addition to COVID-19 restrictions and overall health and safety concerns for potential donors and ASBP blood donor center team members."

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, the Defense Health Agency's director, echoed the sentiments about the importance of blood donors and a steady resupply of blood products.

"Adequate blood supplies are a critical part of a ready medical force. Our medical providers must have everything they need to complete their mission, including blood. A donation can be done in as little as one hour and yield lifesaving blood products for surgical procedures, traumatic injuries, chronic illness, and cancer treatment," Place said.

Blood is Vital Year-Round

"There is no substitute for blood," said Taylor. "It's a critical tool in saving lives." Administered to treat various conditions, blood products are essential for warfighters in combat operations and for emergency use wherever they are, Taylor added.

"It's also necessary to conduct surgeries at military hospitals and clinics," she said. "It could be critical to the survival of a newborn baby. It could give treatment to those with blood-borne illnesses, with certain cancers, for burn victims."

The ASBP ensures global military medical centers, hospitals and clinics have immediate and easy access to safe and viable blood and blood products. This includes whole blood, red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and transfusible components derived from them.

"But it's not possible for ASBP to fulfill its mission if not for our donors," Taylor said.

In general, most people don't think about blood until it's needed, she added.

Additionally, blood products will expire if left on the shelf for too long. Some blood products are only viable for a few days or weeks. "It needs to be on the shelf before the need arises," Taylor said.

National Blood Donor Month

Military leaders and medical providers are very grateful for the many military community members who have participated in blood donor programs in recent years.

National Blood Donor Month was established in January 1969 to address blood shortages during the holiday and winter season and to thank donors who have supported the nation's blood supply throughout the year.

As the official provider of blood products to the U.S. armed forces and military community, the ASBP helps ensure mission readiness around the world.

"We focus on equipping the warfighter with the lifesaving blood and blood products they need on the battlefield as well as in military hospitals and clinics worldwide," said Taylor.

This includes collecting, processing, storing, transporting, and distributing blood and products to ill or injured service members, their families, retirees, and veterans around the world.

Where Can you Donate?

ASBP blood donor centers are located throughout the United States and at locations around the world.

"We have over 20 donor centers, and many of them conduct mobile blood drives around their areas and sometimes in places further away on a regular basis," Taylor explained.

"As the Defense Department's blood program, we are limited to collect at federally owned or leased properties only," she said. "But we're thankful for the many bases, academies, centers, and more that help us make mission and sponsor regular blood drives.

Ready to donate? If you are able and eligible, find a blood drive or blood donor center near you at www.militarydonor.com.

Elaine Sanchez explores the new MHS GENESIS Patient Portal at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oct. 6, 2021. The San Antonio Market will transition to the new electronic health record system – known as MHS GENESIS – in January 2022 (Photo by Lori Newman, U.S. Army).

New Electronic Health Records Rollout Will Hit M...

Local News
Jan. 12, 2022

A major milestone for the Defense Health Agency in 2021 was to advance the successful rollout of MHS GENESIS,...
Read More
Army Maj. Cynthia Anderson, chief nursing information officer for General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, oversees the in-processing of trainees into MHS GENESIS, April 24, 2021 (Chad Ashe, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital).

Ask the Doc: What is the Patient Portal and What...

Local News
Jan. 05, 2022

Dear Doc: I have a few friends in the military medical community and I keep hearing them talking about this...
Read More
The supplement business is a multi-billion dollar industry that is not regulated like conventional food and drug products by the Food and Drug Administration. The use of supplements is designed to add further nutritional value to the diet, not act as a meal replacement (Photo by: Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs).

Dietary Supplements: Educate Yourself First Befo...

Local News
Dec. 28, 2021

Many military service members love dietary supplements.
Read More
Soldiers from Charlie Company, 2-116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, Idaho Army National Guard, practice combined arms battalion, squad-level infantry movements on the Orchard Combat Training Center, Jan. 20, 2019. The training combined dry-fire rehearsal culminating in a live-fire exercise (Photo by: Thomas Alvarez, Idaho Army National Guard)

Don’t Underestimate Mother Nature: Winter Safety...

Local News
Dec. 23, 2021

Never forget the power of nature and its effects, especially if exploring outdoors during the coldest months...
Read More
Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency (left), and Air Force Maj. Gen Shanna Woyak, Small Market and Stand Alone Military Treatment Facility Organization director (right), unfurl the organization flags during the SSO establishment ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Kelly Field, Texas, Dec. 14 (Photo by Brian Boisvert).

New Small Market and Stand Alone MTF Organizatio...

Local News
Dec. 20, 2021

The Defense Health Agency officially established the Small Market and Stand Alone Military Treatment Facility...
Read More
The San Antonio Market, to include Brooke Army Medical Center, Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and the outlying clinics, will transition to MHS GENESIS on Jan. 22, 2022.

Patients can take Steps now to Prepare for MHS G...

Local News
Dec. 09, 2021

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Dec. 9, 2021) – The San Antonio Market, to include Brooke Army Medical Center,...
Read More
Baby boy asleep on his back in a crib

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: How to Keep Babies...

Local News
Dec. 02, 2021

More than 1,000 young babies die in their sleep every year in America due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,...
Read More
Photo By Ryan Graham | U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, M.D., director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Gragg, the senior enlisted leader for the DHA, Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris, the senior enlisted advisor for Madigan Army Medical Center and Col. Jonathan C. Taylor, M.D., the new Puget Sound Market director, (left to right) unfurl the flag of the Puget Sound Market in a ceremony to recognize the establishment of the Market on Dec. 1 at Madigan.

Puget Sound Market Stands Up with Integration in...

Local News
Dec. 02, 2021

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, M.D., director...
Read More

Local News

 

 

Local News | Jan. 12, 2022

Blood Needed: Armed Services Blood Program Urges Donors to Step Up

The Armed Services Blood Program says donations are down and is encouraging volunteers to step up and donate blood to replenish the supply.

"Blood supply is critically low across the nation," not only for the ASBP, but for civilian organizations as well, said Army Col. Audra Taylor, the ASBP's division chief. The ASBP provides lifesaving blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans worldwide.

"Historically, donations decrease in the holiday and winter months due to schedule changes, people taking leave, families going on vacation, weather conditions or illnesses impeding people from donating," Taylor said.

"This year, it's all of those things in addition to COVID-19 restrictions and overall health and safety concerns for potential donors and ASBP blood donor center team members."

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, the Defense Health Agency's director, echoed the sentiments about the importance of blood donors and a steady resupply of blood products.

"Adequate blood supplies are a critical part of a ready medical force. Our medical providers must have everything they need to complete their mission, including blood. A donation can be done in as little as one hour and yield lifesaving blood products for surgical procedures, traumatic injuries, chronic illness, and cancer treatment," Place said.

Blood is Vital Year-Round

"There is no substitute for blood," said Taylor. "It's a critical tool in saving lives." Administered to treat various conditions, blood products are essential for warfighters in combat operations and for emergency use wherever they are, Taylor added.

"It's also necessary to conduct surgeries at military hospitals and clinics," she said. "It could be critical to the survival of a newborn baby. It could give treatment to those with blood-borne illnesses, with certain cancers, for burn victims."

The ASBP ensures global military medical centers, hospitals and clinics have immediate and easy access to safe and viable blood and blood products. This includes whole blood, red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and transfusible components derived from them.

"But it's not possible for ASBP to fulfill its mission if not for our donors," Taylor said.

In general, most people don't think about blood until it's needed, she added.

Additionally, blood products will expire if left on the shelf for too long. Some blood products are only viable for a few days or weeks. "It needs to be on the shelf before the need arises," Taylor said.

National Blood Donor Month

Military leaders and medical providers are very grateful for the many military community members who have participated in blood donor programs in recent years.

National Blood Donor Month was established in January 1969 to address blood shortages during the holiday and winter season and to thank donors who have supported the nation's blood supply throughout the year.

As the official provider of blood products to the U.S. armed forces and military community, the ASBP helps ensure mission readiness around the world.

"We focus on equipping the warfighter with the lifesaving blood and blood products they need on the battlefield as well as in military hospitals and clinics worldwide," said Taylor.

This includes collecting, processing, storing, transporting, and distributing blood and products to ill or injured service members, their families, retirees, and veterans around the world.

Where Can you Donate?

ASBP blood donor centers are located throughout the United States and at locations around the world.

"We have over 20 donor centers, and many of them conduct mobile blood drives around their areas and sometimes in places further away on a regular basis," Taylor explained.

"As the Defense Department's blood program, we are limited to collect at federally owned or leased properties only," she said. "But we're thankful for the many bases, academies, centers, and more that help us make mission and sponsor regular blood drives.

Ready to donate? If you are able and eligible, find a blood drive or blood donor center near you at www.militarydonor.com.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.