The amphibious assault ship, USS Makin Island’s (LHD 8) Medical Department hosted a blood drive held by the Naval Medical Center of San Diego (NMCSD), Aug. 14.
Service members who volunteered went through a screening process which included an application, registering, having their vitals checked, and an interview. Qualifying participants donated 1 pint of blood each, which will be distributed throughout the world to other service members in need.
“All blood we receive is important,” said Doreen Rekoski, a blood donor recruiter. “The two types we need most are O negative and AB negative which makes up only one percent of the military population.”
Disqualifying conditions for donating blood were if you have been deployed in the last year, if you have received a tattoo or piercing in the last year or if you lived in Europe for more than 6 months from 1980-1996.
Several Makin Island Sailors visited the ship’s medical ward throughout the day to make their donation and receive a commemorative tee shirt.
“There is a correct way to draw blood and it is nice to see other corpsman’s techniques,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Robert Fields “To see it from the patients perspective helps me to expand my medical knowledge when I am performing blood donation techniques.”
NMCSD Blood Donor Center supports its patients, the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP), and Navy Blood Program through donor collections and the shipment and storage of blood components, providing blood and blood components for use by the NMCSD, ASBP, and other Department of Defense (DoD) medical treatment facilities. These facilities accept donations from active military, retired military, military dependants, and government employees
The NMCSD conducts blood drives throughout San Diego County traveling as far as Camp Pendleton. For more information regarding dates and locations, please visit the NMCSD and ASBP web sites.
Makin Island is currently undergoing a Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) at Naval Base San Diego. During this 13 month PMA period, Makin Island will receive numerous equipment upgrades, modernization, and general repairs. The PMA period will also help to ensure the ship will reach the full service life of at least 40 years.