Liquid life - making time to donate

Published on LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (author and photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten (front) after completing her plasma donation for the 2014 Defence Organisation Blood Challenge at Penhryn House Donor Centre, Woden, Australian Capital Territory. From left: Major Matthew Phelan, Flight Sergeant Christine Williams and Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten. (photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten (front) after completing her plasma donation for the 2014 Defence Organisation Blood Challenge at Penhryn House Donor Centre, Woden, Australian Capital Territory. From left: Major Matthew Phelan, Flight Sergeant Christine Williams and Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten.

There's a lot to fit in a busy week these days but imagine a quiet spot where you can lie down and relax, drink a milkshake and read a magazine - and in fact are encouraged to do so by medical professionals.
 
Last week at Penhyrn House, Woden Blood Donation Centre, Canberra, Lieutenant Commander Chloe Wootten, Director of Media and Communication - Navy, did just that. Lying down on the job, she made her 94th blood donation, her second for Navy during the 2014 Defence Blood Challenge.

The Defence Blood Challenge is between the Defence Service organisations - Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence Civilians to see who can save the most lives through donations.

In a very busy period within her department, Lieutenant Commander Wootten enjoyed a vanilla milkshake, during her 36 minute plasma donation, and progressed a little work at the same time.

“I'm fortunate that I can donate, and I feel that it's really important to do so as you never know when you might be on the receiving end,” Lieutenant Commander Wootten said.

Finding the right time, the best day, when you are less busy, may not eventuate. Since the age of 16, Lieutenant Commander Wootten has made the time to donate both whole blood and plasma.

Plasma is a part of your blood that can be used to create 18 different treatments. It can be a life-saver to cancer patients, burn victims and people with blood disorders and is also used to make various common vaccinations against chicken pox and tetanus.

A plasma donation involves donating a concentrated collection of plasma through a process called aphersis, it can take up to 45 minutes, so allow 1.5 hours for the whole process and you can donate every two weeks.

The process is very similar to whole blood donations, it is a longer process but sitting there in the comfort of the reclined chair with a cushy pillow behind your head, you get to have a drink such as a vanilla milkshake.

“It's something very small that I can do, that can help a lot of people, I'd encourage everyone to check out the Red Cross website and see if they can help too,” she said.

The Woden Centre will soon have free Wi-Fi, making it easier for those who like Lieutenant Commander Wootten need to stay in touch while out of the office.

Ending on 30 November, you still have time to get in and donate for Navy and make the time to save lives.

For more information on making your donation support your service, go to http://www.donateblood.com.au/defence.