Blood drive battles winter shortages

Joe Pelletier

Icy roads and massive snow piles took their toll on the amount of blood donations this winter.

Gail Mills, donor recruitment account manager for the American Red Cross, estimated 38,000 donations were lost because of canceled drives. But Mills teamed up with Quinnipiac’s Tau Kappa Epsilon and Community Action Project to hold a three-day blood drive last week.

“The university has been very instrumental to help us with our recovery efforts,” Mills said. “Generosity of donors and Quinnipiac University has helped us recover.”


According to junior Joseph Fortunato, rush chair for Tau Kappa Epsilon, the drive secured 109 productive units for patients in need of blood. For Fortunato, the drive hit close to home.

“My dad was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, and the Red Cross helped out with his blood transfusions,” Fortunato said.

Every single donor saves up to three lives, according to the Red Cross, and donations from faculty, students and staff at Quinnipiac will save an estimated 300 lives. The process itself takes less than 20 minutes from beginning to end.

Fortunato said 20 percent of donors were denied during the drive, whether it was from overcrowding or donation issues.

TKE and CAP will collaborate again in April for another blood drive.

Photo credit: Charlotte Greene