LAFB Blood Donor Center saves lives

Crystal Balderrama, phlebotomist, 59th Laboratory Squadron, draws blood from a basic military trainee donor on Sept. 28 at the Blood Donor Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.  Air Force basic military trainees provide a large percentage of the blood collected by the center that supports U.S. military members and hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

Crystal Balderrama, phlebotomist, 59th Laboratory Squadron, draws blood from a basic military trainee donor on Sept. 28 at the Blood Donor Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Air Force basic military trainees provide a large percentage of the blood collected by the center that supports U.S. military members and hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

A basic trainee from the 326th Training Squadron donates his blood Sept. 28 at the Blood Donor Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.  The Lackland Blood Donor Center provides blood products to support U.S. combat troops worldwide and military stateside and overseas hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

A basic trainee from the 326th Training Squadron donates his blood Sept. 28 at the Blood Donor Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The Lackland Blood Donor Center provides blood products to support U.S. combat troops worldwide and military stateside and overseas hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

Senior Airman Josie Kemp, photographer, 59th Medical Wing, donates blood during a blood drive at Wilford Hall Medical Center on Sept. 24 at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.  Military units are encouraged to schedule blood drives within their departments to help obtain life-saving blood for U.S. military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

Senior Airman Josie Kemp, photographer, 59th Medical Wing, donates blood during a blood drive at Wilford Hall Medical Center on Sept. 24 at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Military units are encouraged to schedule blood drives within their departments to help obtain life-saving blood for U.S. military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Roberts)

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Supplying life-saving blood products to warfighters in all overseas contingency operations and patients at Wilford Hall Medical Center by meeting 100 percent of the Armed Forces Blood Program weekly quota and at least 95 percent of the blood products needed here is the mission of the Lackland Blood Donor Center.

The current donor center facility opened in September 2002 and boasts the number one production record out of 22 Department of Defense blood donor centers. Approximately 1,500 units of blood are collected each month which accounts for 12 percent of the total DoD contingency quota.

The Air Force's wartime quota is currently set at 130 units of packed red blood cells per week and 48 units of fresh frozen plasma. The donor center here supplies 50 percent of that.

"A wounded Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine often needs more than 50 units of blood," said Capt. Anthony Polito, chief, Blood Donor Center, 59th Laboratory Squadron. "There is no substitute for human blood. Red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection and platelets have an even shorter shelf life; they must be used within five days of collection."

Not only does the blood donor center support U.S. combat troops worldwide, it also supplies the military's stateside and overseas hospitals with blood products for daily operations. The Wilford Hall transfusion service is supplied an average of 200 units each week.

"Without the blood products from this center, healthcare providers wouldn't be able to do their work to save lives here and overseas," said Captain Polito.

The blood products provided here annually are valued at $3 million. More than 2,200 apheresis platelet products are used and equal about $1.4 million of the overall value.

The center conducts the Air Force's only apheresis pre-deployment training which has expanded to include Army units preparing to deploy. There is also a reference laboratory that provides infectious disease testing for all blood products collected by U.S. Air Force Blood Donor Centers; Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas; and all collections from overseas contingency operations.

The center's plasma apheresis program is the only one in the DoD, collecting 1,500 units of rare plasma per year.

Currently there is an increased need for O negative blood donors. The Blood Donor Center must collect about 30 O negative blood units a week to support ongoing missions.

"Saving lives is what we do, but we can't do it without complete support from the military, dependents and DoD civilians," said Captain Polito.

The Lackland Blood Donor Center is open for donations Monday thru Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Military units are encouraged to schedule blood drives by calling Tracy Parmer, blood donor recruiter, at 292-8145 or the center's main phone line at 292-8100.

 
 
  
Medical Appointment Line:
210-916-9900
 
 
Secure Messaging

Nurse Advice Line

JBSA Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

JBSA SAPR Hotline: 210-808-7272
DoD Safe Helpline: 1-877-995-5247

Chaplain Services: 210-292-7373

 

Wingman Toolkit

Notice of Privacy

Learn more about how we protect your privacy, how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Notice of Privacy Practices

Social Media

59 MDW Texting Service