Keesler Blood Donor Center calls for AB blood donors

  • Published
  • By Lisa Lynn
  • 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron
 The Keesler blood donor center asks all AB blood type donors to come forward and give blood.

As universal plasma donors, AB donors are unique and play a vital role in saving lives. Many people don't know that group AB blood is a critical component used to treat patients during emergencies: fewer than four of every 100 people in the United States have group AB blood. Trauma surgeons have noted increased survival rates when plasma is used at the earliest stages of treatment and group AB is the universal plasma that can be given to anyone in an emergency.

All eligible AB donors within the military community are asked to give blood.
Keesler Air Force Base has approximately 46 permanent-party members with the AB blood type. Unfortunately, some have been deployed to locations where malaria is a problem in the last year or have lived overseas, which prevents them from donating.
It only takes an hour to donate group AB blood and donating helps increase the chance of survival for injured service members.

If civilian employees are concerned about taking time off to donate, AFI 36-815, "Absence and Leave," states, "The Air Force encourages its employees to volunteer as blood donors without compensation. An employee should be excused from work without charge to leave for the time necessary to donate blood or blood products, such as platelets or plasma, for recuperation following blood donation and for necessary travel to and from the donation site.... Employees who volunteer but are rejected as donors for that visit must return to duty or elect paid leave."

For more information about donating plasma or to make an appointment, call aphaeresis supervisor Rose Weatherly at 228-376-4414.