Blood donor to reach 100 pints

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In 1979, Warren Sufrin, then 17, decided to donate blood.

He has been doing it ever since.

Mr. Sufrin, 52, of Mt. Lebanon, has given a total of 99 pints of blood to the Central Blood Bank.

He will donate his milestone 100th pint during a Dec. 15 blood drive at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, 1900 Cochran Road, Scott. The bank will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mr. Sufrin, who is a member of Beth El, would like to get other donors to give 100 pints, at the standard rate of one pint at a time, in a "100 pint challenge."

"I would love to bring out new donors," he said. "If I have the same donors, I haven't done that much."

Mr. Sufrin is director of information technology for the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh and a part-time real estate investor with Twin Property Solutions.

The nonprofit Central Blood Bank, headquartered in Green Tree, serves 40 hospitals and health care facilities in Western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

While all blood types are needed, especially in the winter when it is tougher to collect blood and people get sick more often, O-negative is the most important because any patient can receive that type, Central Blood Bank spokeswoman Caitlyn Doyle said.

Only 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood based on medical history, travel history or medications, according to Central Blood Bank.

Prospective donors can call the blood bank before donating to find out if they are eligible. They also can find out after answering a series of questions at the donation site.

The average time commitment is 45 minutes to an hour from the time a donor walks in the door to the time the person leaves.

Mr. Sufrin said the biggest misconception about donating blood is that the process hurts.

It doesn't, he emphasized, and there are no side effects.

He noted that after donating, donors take a 15-minute rest and receive snacks provided by Central Blood Bank.

Mr. Sufrin donates blood roughly every two months.

"I do it because it is good for society; it saves lives and requires so little of us," he said.

"It is wonderful to see people getting the word out, and he knows because he has already donated 99 pints,'' Ms. Doyle said.

Donors may simply show up at Beth El, but reservations are requested at 1-866-DONORS1.

Donors also may donate at any Central Blood Bank site and use the code g0020005 to be credited to the Dec. 15 drive.

For more information on donating blood: www.centralbloodbank.org.

Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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