Give the gift of life at community blood drive at New Kensington campus

March 16, 2016

UPPER BURRELL, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington encourages blood donations from the campus, alumni and local community at the semiannual Alumni Blood Drive, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, 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. Elaine Zarichnak, the campus nurse, has tips for prospective givers.

“Donors will need to bring photo ID, eat a good meal and avoid caffeine prior to donating,” Zarichnak said. “I hope that the community takes this opportunity to donate what may be a gift of life for someone in need.”

Last spring, the staff of the Central Blood Bank collected enough blood and platelets to serve 63 patients. Donors had a choice of donating, using 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. This process is done with a machine specifically designed for this purpose.

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 must be a 56-day waiting period between donations.

The blood drive is made possible through the efforts of volunteers and Zarichnak.

For information about the blood drive, contact Zarichnak at 724-334-6066 or

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 17, 2016