Army Reserve Signaller Michi Hartnett rolled up his sleeve to donate plasma for the first time as part of the Joint Task Group 629.9 blood drive.

A communications systems operator from 8th Signals Regiment, Signaller Hartnett is deployed as part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the pandemic response. It is through this deployment that he decided to donate plasma.

“I’d see information about Defence doing blood donation drives and thought I should contribute to it,” Signaller Hartnett said.

“When I got to the donation centre and learnt what plasma is used for and how many people it can help I realised it’s an important thing to do.”

Unsure of what to expect on the day, he was surprised at how easy the process was.

“The experience was interesting because I could see everything working next to me and the Red Cross members were pleasant and friendly,” Signaller Hartnett said. 

During the unprecedented times, having support from Defence and their personnel is vital to ensure we can maintain our blood supplies.

“A staff member took the time to tell me how the centrifuge worked and how they pump the red blood cells back into your body so they only take plasma.”

Signaller Hartnett said he would be more than happy to donate again.  

“I’ll do it because I understand how important donating blood is. That knowledge offsets the uncomfortable physical experience,” he said.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Group accounts manager Sally Gavin praised Defence’s support during the pandemic.

“During the unprecedented times, having support from Defence and their personnel is vital to ensure we can maintain our blood supplies,” Ms Gavin said. 

“We’d love to say thank you to each and every one of you who have been able to help us out with a lifesaving donation.”