Moody AFB Clinic drawing blood, safeguarding Flying Tigers Published Sept. 21, 2017 By Airman1st Class Erick Requadt 23d Wing Public Affairs MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- People may think our nation is kept secure solely by Airmen flying jets and jumping out of planes, but sometimes it’s the ones in lab coats that help maintain our Airmen’s wellbeing so they can finish the fight. The 23rd Medical Support Squadron’s medical laboratory, coupled with their specialized equipment, help fend off various diseases, illnesses and ailments to ensure Airmen are fit to fight. With over 90,000 blood samples processed each year, these Airmen carry their weight in safeguarding Moody’s Airmen. “It all goes back to the wing’s mission of readiness,” said Tech. Sgt. Katherine Gay, NCO in charge of the medical laboratory. “We need to maintain a healthy force.” One of the main responsibilities of the lab is to examining blood samples for abnormalities. “We see many blood abnormalities in the lab on a daily basis,” said Gay. “Some are minor while others are major. It could be anything from anemia to the other extreme where we find cancer.” Whether it’s cancer or the flu, the process always starts with a blood sample being drawn from the patient. “After we do that, we bring it back and run it on the analyzer that then tells us if we have any abnormalities within the blood,” said Staff Sgt. Cory Gage, 23d MDSS medical laboratory technician. “[Then] we look under a microscope to confirm what the analyzer is saying.” According to Gage, a seasoned technician can process a blood sample in as little as 15 minutes, but it would take much longer if not for their machinery. “[The] machinery is important because that’s our first line of defense,” said Gage. “That does the actual count of red blood cells and white blood cells. If we sat and counted it would take much longer. So that’s definitely important as far as the time factor goes and getting results out in a fast manner.” While the lab’s machinery is important, it may prove useless without the technician’s attention to detail. If the technician were to make a small mistake, people could potentially go through processes that they don’t need to go through. The lab doing their job correctly ensures Airmen are diagnosed correctly. From drawing blood and getting results to the doctors, Moody’s lab techs are a driving force in methodical and precise systems to ensure Airmen are healthy to continue the mission.