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May 12, 2011
CPL Zenith King
A NEW walk-in blood bank at Multina-
tional Base Tarin Kot is allowing ADF
personnel to give blood during trauma
More than 150 personnel have signed
up to begin the screening process since
the blood bank was opened on April 10.
Senior Medical Officer MAJ Oscar
Aldridge said the aim was to provide
more blood than was currently held at
the medical facility and provide fresh
blood during trauma situations.
"While we do hold frozen stocks,
there is some evidence that, for people
who require massive transfusions, fresh
warm whole blood is best," he said.
"The stored blood is separated into
three different components, but when
you mix them back together it is still not
the same as the fresh product.
"The only way for us to achieve that
is through a walk-in blood bank."
MAJ Aldridge said due to the isola-
tion of the base, the blood bank was
critical for supporting troops.
"When someone is identified with
major injuries, we will activate the
walk-in blood bank. That way, when
they arrive, we will have donors already
standing by to provide fresh blood for
transfusion," he said.
"So far every patient who has arrived
alive at the Role 2 hospital has left here
alive. Part of that is due to our ability to
give blood transfusions as required.
"This is something we want to main-
Nursing Officer LT Jasmine Poole
said all Defence personnel based at Tarin
Link to the past
IT'S NOT unusual for deployed
members to carry mementos
around with them to link them
with home, but in SQNLDR
Wendy Walker's case, it's a link
to a distinguished ancestor.
SQNLDR Walker, above, who
is serving in East Timor as the
senior logistics officer with the
International Stabilisation Force
(ISF), has a piece of ribbon from
her uncle Jack Jeffrey's WWI
Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Wherever she goes in East
Timor, SQNLDR Walker carries
with her the small piece of rib-
bon that reminds her to ensure
the ISF troops have all the sup-
plies they need to do their job.
Kot could sign up for the program, but
would need to be screened for suitability
before their blood could be used.
"We start the screening by asking
questions which are similar to those
asked by the Red Cross," she said. "We
are trying to identify a low-risk popula-
tion by selecting people who make a
declaration that they are not part of any
of the high-risk sub-groups.
"From there we call back anyone eli-
gible to have a blood test done, and test
for HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne
"On the day when we actually take
the blood off people, there is a quick test
panel that gives us an answer within five
minutes to confirm those results are still
valid. That way we can ensure the blood
we use for transfusions in Tarin Kot is
just as safe as the blood supply back
home in Australia."
LIFE SAVER: A nursing officer
takes blood from an ADF member at
the Role 2 hospital in Tarin Kot.
Photo: CPL Zenith King
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