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Firsthand Experience Leads to First Blood Drive
By Wendy Binder, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Navy Lt. KimberLee Tyner (second from left) is excited to bring Armed Services Blood Program blood drives to the Naval Operational Support Center Wilmington, N.C.
Navy Lt. KimberLee Tyner knows all too well the crucial need for blood and blood products. As a Navy nurse deployed to Germany
she worked in the intensive care unit of the Landstuhl Region Medical Center. Caring for many patients, she began to notice one common thread—they had all needed transfusions.
Then came a day that Tyner will always remember—the day she treated a soldier who had been transferred to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center because he had developed Crimean hemorrhagic fever. According to the Center for Disease Control, Crimean hemorrhagic fever is a tick-borne illness that can lead to “large areas of severe bruising, severe nosebleeds and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites.”
“During the course of his treatment, he received massive transfusions of (red blood cells), fresh frozen platelets, and cryoprecipitate in order to correct his uncontrolled bleeding,” said Tyner. “It was during this event that a major blood drive was held in his honor and I was introduced to the Armed Services Blood Program. The response was amazing!”
Now stationed at the Navy Operational Support Center Wilmington, N.C., as the training officer and armed with her many years of experience, Tyner decided that she wanted to host an Armed Services Blood Program blood drive. So she and the rest of the Navy Operational Support Center sprung into action to coordinate the center’s first Armed Services Blood Program blood drive. While researching local organizations, she came across the Armed Services Blood Program location at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and immediately contacted the donor center to schedule a blood drive at her installation on Dec. 1, 2012.
“(The Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune) bloodmobile arrived like a military helicopter and was up and running in 15 minutes,” said Tyner who was impressed with the team’s flexible, accommodating and self-sufficient processes. “Everybody was friendly and professional. Effortlessly, they orchestrated a hugely successful event and as a unit, we know that we actively supported those who support us daily.”
Although several members of the Reserve Component Hospital Unit were mobilized or deployed at the time of the blood drive, they will have another chance to donate with the Armed Services Blood Program. The blood drive was such a success, that the Naval Operational Support Center Wilmington decided to show their support by hosting a biannual blood drive with the Armed Services Blood Program.
Tyner has treated and cared for many injured military members throughout her career. With her kind and caring demeanor she continues to find ways to reach out and help fellow service members, and she can now add blood drive coordination to her long list of service.
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