University of Pittsburgh
January 23, 2002

University of Pittsburgh Launches "Pitt 4 Life" 2002 Blood Program

Contact:  412-624-4147

January 22, 2002

PITTSBURGH—As a part of its ongoing drive to assist the Central Blood Bank

(CBB) in its vital task of collecting blood, the University of Pittsburgh has launched the "Pitt 4 Life" 2002 Blood Drive Program, designed to encourage and recognize University faculty and staff who donate blood four or more times this year.

Although all faculty and staff members are invited to participate in "Pitt 4 Life," the campaign thrust will be to attract those individuals who have in the past donated blood more than twice in a year, according to G. Reynolds Clark, executive director of Pitt's Office of Community and Governmental Relations.

"We believe people who already are in the habit of giving blood likely would be willing to commit to four donations a year," says Clark. "This is an eminently achievable goal, since blood donations can be made safely every 56 days. Theoretically, individuals can donate up to six times a year without compromising their health in any way."

Clark added that Pitt—which annually ranks among the top Pittsburgh-area institutions in the amount of blood donated by its employees—is hoping that "Pitt 4 Life" will make a substantial contribution toward CBB's meeting its daily need of about 700 units of blood; this translates into approximately 400,000 blood products and derivatives required annually to satisfy patient needs for transfusion therapy.

"Currently there is no substitute for human blood, nor is there ever a respite from the ever-growing daily demand to provide blood for people in need," says Clark. "In addition, recent tragedies have reminded us of the need to be prepared for emergencies wherever and whenever they may occur. Donating blood is one way for every individual to make a difference and save lives."

In 2002, on-campus blood drives will be held Jan. 29, April 16, July 9, and Oct. 22. Anyone who signs up for the "Pitt 4 Life" 2002 Blood Program but cannot donate blood on one of the scheduled on-campus days can fulfill his or her commitment at any CBB community donor center simply by showing a donor card with the Pitt group number.

For more information about the Pitt 4 Life 2002 Blood Program and the upcoming on-campus blood drives, contact Gwen Watkins, Pitt community and governmental relations coordinator, at 412/624-7702.