URI faculty, staff, and students have donated 33,000 pints of blood to the Rhode Island Blood Center, the highest amount of donated blood in blood drive history. “We say that three lives are saved with each donation,” says Frank Prosnitz, communications manager at the blood center. “So put in another way, those 33,000 pints basically saved the city of Warwick.”
Blood drives, sponsored by The Clearinghouse for Volunteers, are held four times a year. Between 85 to 110 pints per day are collected during the three-day drives.
The donated blood is tested, split into its various components, and then distributed first to hospitals in Rhode Island and then to hospitals in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The blood is used to help leukemia, cancer, accident, anemia, transplant, and surgery patients. “It’s one of the little things that I do that can make a big difference in people’s lives,” said frequent donor Anita Burke, senior word processing typist in the Department of Communications and Marketing.