Blood Donations Aid Fort Hood Victims
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2009 Blood donations came from nine different sources in overwhelming quantities in response to yesterday’s shooting on Fort Hood, Texas, showing strong pride around the nation for the military community, the director of the Army’s blood program at the said at the Pentagon today.
Twelve soldiers and one civilian were killed, and 30 people were injured in the shooting at Fort Hood’s Soldier-Family Readiness Center.
As of this morning, at least 17 of the wounded were treated with some form of blood transfusion at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood, whether by plasma, red blood cells or platelets, Army Col. Ron Fryar said in a Pentagon Channel interview.
Several of the other wounded were evacuated to civilian hospitals in Killen and Austin, Texas, but Fryar said he did not have statistics available for those who may have received blood transfusions outside of Fort Hood.
Fort Hood’s Robertson Blood Center maintains an inventory of 30 to 40 units of blood products. But almost immediately after yesterday’s shooting, more than 800 products were moved there and to other nearby civilian medical facilities, he said.
“I’m extremely proud of how our folks reacted across the Army blood program and across the armed services,” Fryar said, also noting his satisfaction for support from civilian blood clinics. “Across the U.S., blood came pouring down to central Texas to help.”
Most of the patients are now stable or nearly so, so the Army is asking all of its blood centers to stand down their collection transfers, he said.
The unused blood products from civilian blood centers are expected to be returned, and the blood from military blood centers will be redistributed based on routine needs, the colonel said.
Fryar also pointed out that blood donations aren’t in need only amid a mass-casualty crisis, and he encouraged the population, particularly young people, to donate when and as often as they can. Donations support a host of routine needs throughout the medical community, he said.
Someone somewhere always is in need of blood, Fryar said.
“Just don’t lose that thought or that feeling of wanting to help our fellow citizens out,” he said. “We can do that all year long. A blood donation is one of those ways you can contribute to your community.”