Alumni, community encouraged to donate at fall blood drive on campus

Donors give the gift of life; semiannual event replenishes blood supply in valley
Blood drive canteen

 Two Penn State New Kensington students chose the apheresis method to donate blood at the March drive. Blood is drawn from the donor and separated using a centrifuge or a filter.  The platelets are stored, and the rest is returned to the donor. 

Credit: Bill Woodard

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington encourages blood donations from the campus, alumni and local community at the semiannual Community Blood Drive, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the Art Gallery.

The Central Blood Bank will collect, store and deliver the blood. Donors of all blood types from the campus and the local community are encouraged to help increase the blood supply in the Alle-Kiski Valley. According to Elaine Zarichnak, the campus nurse, prospective givers should bring photo ID, eat a good meal, and avoid caffeine prior to donating.

“I hope that the community takes this opportunity to donate what may be a gift of life for someone in need,” Zarichnak said.

Donors have a choice of donating by the whole blood or apheresis methods. Both methods draw approximately a pint of fluid from the donors. The whole blood method is the typical method where the blood is drawn manually, collected in a pint bag, and stored unprocessed. It is later separated into red blood cells and plasma. The apheresis method draws blood from the donor, separates it using a centrifuge or a filter, stores the desired part, platelets in this case, and returns the rest to the donor.

Appointments are not necessary, as walk-ins are welcome. A free cholesterol screening is available to each donor. Prospective donors who had tattoos or self-piercings in the past year might be denied the opportunity to donate. For those who give blood throughout the year, there is a 56-day waiting period between donations.

For information about the blood drive, contact Zarichnak at 724-334-6066 or [email protected].


Bill Woodard

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

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