Home' Navy News : September 13th 2012 Contents WHICH ONE
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September 13, 2012
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DMO's LCDR David Sutherla nd,
based at Rockingham, first gave
blood when he was 17, in 1976.
He was aboard HMAS Moresby
visiting the Seychelles for their
independence celebrations and the
authorities were wor ried about vio-
lence and the need for blood supplies.
"It was like stepping back into
Florence Nightingale times," LCDR
"They collected the blood in big
metal syringes and would give the
guys a scotch after donating so a few
wanted to go again," he laughed.
Sea time kept him away for a
few years but once he was posted to
Wester n Australia he saw a televi-
sion ad calling for people to donate
plasma and ju mped at the chance to
give back to the community.
He was asked to join the anti-D
program in 2000 when there were
only about 30 registered donors in
WA, and hasn't been able to stop
The reservist has now donated
more than 160 times and has been
on the anti-D program for more than
12 years, helping to save the lives
of babies who, without access to the
anti-D injections made from LCDR
Sutherland's O-negative plasma,
could develop Haemolytic Disease of
the Newbor n, also known as HDN.
He is booked in every second
Wednesday to give plasma for an
hour-and-a-half when he is not on
"There are special steps in the
anti-D program to jack up the level
of anti-D in my plasma," he said.
"Once, while I was donating, I
met a lady who said she had needed
anti-D injections to protect her baby
and she was so thankful -- it makes
it all worth it."
On average, up to 17 per cent of
Australian mothers may need anti-D
injections during each of their preg-
nancies and after the birth. Anti-D
can only be produced from the blood
of a select group of donors.
"It is a great feeling and privilege
to be able to give back to society and
know that I have managed to save
the lives of countless young babies,"
LCDR Sutherland said.
Currently the anti-D program
does not need "new recruits", how-
ever the need for new blood donors
of all blood types is greater than
ever, as there is an increasing
demand for whole blood donations,
and other special collections such as
plasma and platelet donations.
LCDR Sutherland encourages
personnel to head to a blood bank
to check if they can help people
through donating their blood.
"I get a great buzz out of being
able to give back to my community
in such a way," he said.
to join the challenge and donate.
LEUT Lauren Rago
EIGHT Australian medical profession-
als returned home on August 22 after
a successful four-month deployment to
the largest combat trauma hospital in
Two anaesthetists, one general sur-
geon, one orthopaedic surgeon, two
theatre nurses and two intensive care
nurses from the per manent and reserve
forces of Navy, Ar my and Air Force
worked with battlefield casualties at
the US Navy-led Role 3 Multinational
Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield.
The Medical Unit provides a world-
class capability comparable to any
other major trau ma centre in the world.
If a casualty arrives with a heart-
beat they have a 98 per cent chance of
survival. The Australian medical pro-
fessionals working within US military
teams throughout the 250 staff facility
contribute to this success rate.
Commander JTF 663 MAJGEN
Stuart Smith said the Australian medi-
cal person nel should be proud of their
"They have worked in an intense,
extremely busy and often a har row-
ing environment to deliver a high-
end capability that has saved lives,"
MAJGEN Smith said.
The departing medical profession-
als will be replaced by another eight
who will also complete a four-month
deployment to the hospital.
The Role 3 Multinational Medical
Unit perfor ms 125 surgical cases with
250 procedures for 400 hours of actual
operating time each month.
It feels good
to give back
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: LCDR David Sutherland, of DMO at HMAS Stirling, donates plasma every second
Wednesday at Rockingham Blood Bank in WA when he is not on deployment.
Photo: ABIS Jayson Tufrey
WORKING TOGETHER: The Australian medical team stands in front of
the largest combat trauma hospital in Afghanistan, the Role 3 Multinational
Medical Unit at Kandahar Air Field.
Photo: SGT William Guthrie
NAVY personnel attended
the World Humanitarian
Breakfast at Parliament
House on August 19.
The breakfast and semi-
nar brought attention to
humanitarian needs world-
wide and the importance of
inter national cooperation in
meeting these needs.
Navy was represented
by CMDR Jennifer Wittwer
and LEUT Jenn Macklin.
The ADF's humanitar-
ian and disaster relief work
was also acknowledged at
For further information visit
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