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178th Wing Hosts Volunteer Blood Drive

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  • By Airman 1st Class Josh Kaeser

The 178th Wing hosted a volunteer blood drive with the 88th Medical Group from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here April 5, for the Armed Services Blood Program.

The Armed Services Blood Program provides servicemembers with access to affordable blood that can be used for medical purposes. This blood can be accessed at the military hospitals and facilities around the world.

“A lot of times, the Red Cross will charge people if they need blood, and if you are in the military you get it for free,” said Jamie Cravens, a medical lab technician working with the 88th Medical Group. “We take the blood that is donated and we separate it into red cells and plasma. It can be used more efficiently that way.”

The 88th Medical Group opened their new Blood Donation Center on Aug. 21, 2023. This has allowed them to expand their operations further into the local community and enlarge their outreach.

The donation process has been designed to make donating blood as quick and easy as possible, according to the ASBP website.

“I came in and answered a few questions, they took my blood pressure and monitored my vital signs to make sure that I was eligible to give blood.” said Senior Master Sgt. Sandra Bowden, medical administrative superintendent at the 178th Wing. “It was easy and took about 20 minutes.”

One donation can save up to three lives, according to the ASBP website. The blood can be used for everything from an emergency surgery on the battlefield to fighting cancer.

“My motivation to give blood has always been to help others in whatever way I can,” said Bowden. “I have been donating blood since high school, and done it throughout the years.”

Volunteer blood drives are essential to having a stable supply of blood, and this increases military readiness worldwide, according to the ASBP website.