Friday, October 2, 2009

Thanking donors for the gift of life

BUILDING UP THE BLOOD SUPPLY: Blood donors from Buildings and Grounds, from left, Sorrento, Steven Hardy, George Hardy, Stephen Temple, Bracken and Bill Belton were thanked at the 2009 Employee Blood Donor Recognition Breakfast.

It is estimated that one in 10 patients admitted to the MGH will need a blood transfusion. A patient having a coronary bypass requires an average of one to five units of blood, while a patient receiving a liver transplant may require up to 100 units.

MGH employees are an important resource in helping patients like these. Every year, they contribute approximately 2,400 units to the MGH Blood Donor Center's blood supply, which is used to help the hospital's patients.

To honor the many MGH employees who have helped save lives through blood donation, the donor center held its 2009 Employee Blood Donor Recognition Breakfast Sept. 29 in the Thier Conference Room.

Christopher Stowell, MD, PhD, medical director for the MGH Blood Donor Center, offered opening remarks at the event. Blood transfusion recipient and MGH employee, Jen Searl, MLS, of the Maxwell and Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center, served as the guest speaker.

Awards for the most blood donations during the year were given to Dee Dee Chen of Human Resources and George Hardy of Buildings and Grounds. Awards for top platelet donations were given to Michael Bracken and Michael Karvielis, also of Buildings and Grounds. A new overall record for employee blood donation was set this year, with 122 employees each donating four units of blood.

Christopher Sorrento, a Buildings and Grounds employee who recently retired, was one of the donors who attended the breakfast. He is credited with encouraging many of the department's employees to donate.

"I just think it's so important to give blood," says Sorrento. "It's really a simple thing."

For more information or to make an appointment, call 617-726-8177.

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